Tree hack job 'disaster'

Heavy handed pruning at a Kelowna shopping centre has tree lovers up in arms.

"This is the worst example of landscape maintenance I have ever seen," says Melba Reid, president of the Okanagan Master Gardeners group.

Describing the work at Okanagan Lake Shopping Centre on Highway 97 as "a disaster," Reid said the severe cut-back may well kill the trees.

"Branches are chopped anywhere with no regard or knowledge of where a tree can easily sprout new growth. These were pretty trees and (previously) appeared healthy," she said Monday.

The work apparently took place some time over the last 10 days, and was the hot topic at the Master Gardeners' annual general meeting this past weekend.
"This is the second incident I have seen at this location," said Reid. "The first was a couple years ago when I had to tell the maintenance crew that several of the trees were dying because they were over-growing the wire support around the trunk and being killed."

Several of them have since been removed, as they died.

She says a tree specialist friend agrees these trees may not survive either.

Reid says she's emailed mall management with her concerns, and Castanet has also reached out for comment.

"It's unbelievable. It's an absolute waste. Those trees were beautiful this summer and fall."

She said some nearby aspen trees were also topped, but will likely be OK, as lower branches were left untouched.

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