A year ago, a neighbour opposed to tree protection on private property told me, sarcastically, “It’s not like bur oaks are an endangered species.”
Yes, they are.
Today’s events in Champlain Park point to how these gentle giants are being battered and damaged by property owners who seem to care not at all about them.
At 231 Keyworth Avenue, half the root zone of a bur oak was removed during an excavation today. The tree is 1.1 meters in diameter and was the subject, one year ago, of a contentious committee of adjustment hearing. The request for variances was denied. Since then, the property owner has applied for and received a permit to add to the front portion of the house and build a second storey on the bungalow.
Today’s events saw Forestry Services show up when alerted to an excavation and advise the property owner that he would be fined for damaging the distinctive tree. This is good news, and I hope that the city will take the alleged violator to court where a judge’s discretion will come into play. The backstory for this is a long and sorry tale that deserves to be told in court. Bravo to Forestry Services for deciding to prosecute, or fine, this resident.