The residents of Parkdale Manor have banded together in an attempt to save a tree in the courtyard of their home.
A petition has been sent to the administrator of Parkdale Housing, Wayne Cybak as well as to the board of directors. The petition was signed by 80 per cent of the residents, asking the administration not to cut down the tree but to explore other options to solve the problem of the heaving bricks.
Options include replacing the bricks with a pea-stone patio, an on-grade deck, or covering them over by building a ring bench around the tree.
“That tree is kind of symbolic for us living here. It belongs with us,” said Kirsten Dahl-Jensen, one of the residents. “They are going to cut it down because it is hollow inside. We are not whole either and we don’t want to be cut down. Even if the tree may be dying, we are all dying, so why can’t it be here with us until it dies?”
Helene Hamaliuk remembers a time when the previous owners would trim the tree and regularly check and replace the bricks and tamp down any roots, but she said it had not been done in years. “We need the trees because they give us oxygen,” she said.
Others expressed how much they loved the beautiful old tree, saying how it provided shade as well as a home and food for the birds.
Keith Dixon said, “there is a big difference for any of us to be sitting under a tree or to be sitting under an aluminum roof.” He said the philosophy is to get rid of trees that require any kind of maintenance.
Jennifer Heald said there has been a lack of communication and she feels the matter should go before the board, before any decision is made.
Cybak said he has had an arborist look at the tree and would not be saying anything until he had received the report.
Board chair Orv Robson said he respects the feelings of the resident and realizes the tree has significant meaning to them.
“We have to look at what the consequences of leaving the tree would be and look at the possible detriment it would be to the surroundings,” he said, adding that he wished the tree could stay.