By Cole Parkinson
The Village of Barnwell council is looking at the possibility of making poplar trees a thing of the past.
During the council’s regular meeting on Feb. 15, councillors discussed the probability of replacing all of the poplar trees on village owned land with different types of tree species.
“I know many other municipal jurisdictions are looking at removing all poplar cotton trees from the public. The first one I think I would go after is the one across the corner here. It’s on our public land and it hangs over top of the street. I know that there are a couple along the park that are dwindling and a situation’s going to blow them over, we’ve already had one go down. I know there are many jurisdictions that have put bylaws in place saying planting poplar trees is no longer legal because they go after water mains and they have a limited lifespan,” said Mayor Del Bodnarek. “I visited a friend of ours in Saskatchewan and said ‘where are all of your poplar trees?’ The community took them all out.”
Bodnarek also pointed out the fact that there is fear some of the trees may indeed tip over if the wind reaches a certain speed.
While the process hasn’t been officially green lit, they had hoped to replace the poplar trees relatively soon. With the removal of those trees also brings the chance to bring in different species to replace the departing poplars.
Council liked the idea of replacing trees one by one in order to keep a certain amount of trees planted instead of taking them all out at once.
“Anytime we take one down, we can put in a new elm or ash. There are so many beautiful trees,” said Bodnarek, who was told by council that mature trees would be best suited for the replant. “We don’t have to do them all at once, they can do it in steps so we take one down, replace it, take one down, replace it.”
Administration highlighted the money from subdivision reserves needs to be used on parks in Barnwell so this may present a good time to spend the funds on replacing the poplar trees. One question asked by council was if the new trees would get enough nourishment in between the existing poplar trees.
“They’ve just got to have enough space and if they are a nice mature tree it doesn’t take long,”added Coun. Deb Hansen. On top of the possibility of removing the poplar trees, council also looked at having their other trees trimmed and pruned.