City property chainsawed

City Hall wants to talk to Harry de Haas.

You'll recall de Haas, he's the man who cut down four of his neighbour's trees, without the land owner's permission, earlier this month.

Castanet contacted the City last week to see if any of the trees were on City property. Urban Forestry Supervisor Blair Stewart says they inspected the stumps.

"Just had staff confirm to me that, yes, there are three that (were) on city property. The other was obviously the private homeowners," said Stewart.

"We will be in contact with the other property owner that lived above and did the work and we'll be dealing with it however we need to."

Stewart said the illegal removal of trees comes under the Municipal Property Tree Bylaw which states if a tree is removed without City permission, equitable compensation will be sought.

"We have a process for determining value based off an international formula through an arborist association. We'll be determining that value and we'll be in discussion with the person that did this work ."

While he was unable to determine the value at this time, Stewart did say the three trees in question were, from what he was able to determine, all spruce trees.

Stewart said he doesn't have a lot of data concerning the trees because they have since been removed, but does say from what he has been able to learn, the trees were not unhealthy in any way.

He added that it's a little disconcerting that someone would willingly cut down trees, not knowing if they were City owned or privately owned.

"You would hope somebody would do a little more due diligence to look into it. If it's a city owned tree we would expect they would at least contact us first. People can make mistakes once in a while but that is the expectation from us. They are our trees, they are to be protected, they are to be there for the community.

If it's a City tree, or if you are not sure if it's a City tree, just call us. We're more than willing to come out and confirm it and give some advice if necessary."

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