With laminated root rot infecting trees at a park in Cedar, Regional District of Nanaimo staff are mulling options.
Glynneath Road Community Park in RDN Area A has experienced “tree failures … due to prevalent root rot infection at the site,” according to a staff report. The disease is caused by a pathogen in soil and according to information from B.C.’s forest ministry, leads to root decay, trees that are prone to falling and can reduce growth significantly. It can remain in dead stumps for upwards of 80 years and spread via root contacting material that is infected – it is one of the “most damaging diseases in B.C.,” the ministry said.
A study from Strategic Natural Resource Consultants for the RDN, conducted last November, recommended 43 trees – 23 Douglas fir, 16 grand fir and four arbutus – for full removal and a certified arborist was enlisted by the consultant in January to investigate costing of tree removal and appraise the value of timber.
The arborist, Shawn Mandula, recommended trees needing both immediate or future treatment be removed concurrently in order to save money and downed trees be used for firewood or trail and park upgrades. Cost estimates for tree and debris removal ranged from $18,000-$23,000.
The RDN board approved a motion last Tuesday that would keep the park in its natural state and Wendy Marshall, RDN manager of park services, said the district is examining options.
“We know we have to remove the trees, but we’re getting cost estimates,” said Marshall. “Do we go in and do them all at once, or phase it?”
Alec McPherson, RDN Area A director, who lives in the park area, said root rot is “endemic in his area” and replanting would be expensive.
“The thing was, well, why would we spend the money, and it’s not cheap … it’s a community park and that means it would come out of our community parks budget, which means area residents would pay for it and we just didn’t think that it was as good a risk to put more stuff in that might also get root rot versus letting the conifers reseed it on their own,” said McPherson.
Jim Fiddick, an Electoral Area A parks and rec commission member, whose property runs adjacent to the park, said root rot and downed trees are noticeable.
“It should be cleaned up,” said Fiddick. “It’s a hell of a fire hazard. If they ever get a fire there … it could be a major problem.”