Why are so many trees collapsing in Vancouver's West End?
Published Thursday, June 20, 2019 11:12AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 20, 2019 7:09PM PDT
Yellow tape surrounded the intersection of Nelson and Gilford streets Thursday morning, where a massive catalpa tree collapsed.
The fall buckled the sidewalk and ripped roots from the ground. It landed smack in the middle of the intersection.
“I’m always concerned because I’ve seen this happen here before,” said resident Arnie Greenberg. “And it's going to happen again”.
The tree came down only a few steps away from where another collapsed almost three years ago to the day, on June 23, 2016. That giant landed on two buildings and smashed windows on several floors.
Residents told CTV News another tree recently collapsed about a block away.
“I think the buildings are pretty resilient but I wouldn't want it to fall in my living room,” said Brian Ball, who lives across the street from the most recent tree fall. “They’re slowly dropping one by one."
The City of Vancouver said it inspects the tress annually and if they look dangerous, they take them down. Monday’s catalpa looked healthy, but it’s been very dry and windy.
“Of course with the full leaf load that doesn't help,” theorized Howard Normann, Vancouver’s director of parks. “It acts like a sail and that particular tree loosened up and fell over.”
The trees are also more than 60 years old.