The Siberian elm is an invasive plant. In Manitou Park in Naramata, crews are working to remove these trees and plant native species instead (File photo)

The Siberian elm is an invasive plant. In Manitou Park in Naramata, crews are working to remove these trees and plant native species instead (File photo)

Crews remove Siberian elms from Naramata park

Invasive plant identified as a problem in region

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is working to remove invasive Siberian elm trees from Naramata’s Manitou Park.

The regional district has developed a phased approach to removing the trees from parks throughout the region.

READ ALSO: Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen applies for grants for food waste composting projects

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The Siberian elm was introduced to North America in the mid-1800s and has become established in the region.

The tree has brittle branches that are prone to breaking apart in storms. It is highly susceptible to elm leaf beetles and is a prolific seeder with a high rate of seed germination.

The plant shades and crowds native vegetation, and its root systems damage hard surfaces.

Through the parks maintenance program, Naramata Parks and Recreation has been removing Siberian elms and planting native trees each year.

Because of the ongoing improvements at the park, including a new year-round washroom facility and accessibility pathway, a larger number of trees will now be removed.

The regional district will remove up to 25 invasive or dangerous trees in the coming weeks, to prepare for the park path project, planned for 2021.

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