University students compile data on White Rock trees.

White Rock takes inventory of its trees

Young workers tagging and measuring trees on city property in White Rock over the past couple of months have been cause for some alarm among residents.

Young workers tagging and measuring trees on city property in White Rock over the past couple of months have been cause for some alarm among residents.

But they shouldn’t fear the trees were being targeted for removal, says White Rock engineering director Rob Thompson.

“It’s quite the opposite,” Thompson said this week. “We’re developing a database of trees to make sure they are preserved as long as, and whenever, possible,” he said, adding the program is part of a recognition that trees are a valuable asset for the city, both aesthetically and practically.

“They help us control storm water run-off, for example.”

The inventory project is a co-op placement of four university students with the city that began this June and ends this week. The program will probably be continued for the next two years, Thompson explained, until a complete inventory can be compiled.

Under the guidance of city arborist Aelicia Otto, this year’s students have been Simon Fraser fourth-year geographic information systems (GIS) major Jerry Mo; third-year UBC forestry resource management major Shane Jobber, fourth-year forestry major Laiyi Chow and Siew Law, who has her bachelors’ degree in forestry from UBC and is currently pursuing her masters in GIS at the University of Calgary.

During a brief break from their assignment at White Rock’s Allan Hogg Rotary Park Wednesday, the team members explained their jobs, which are also giving them valuable experience that will help them gain employment in their field.

Law, equipped with a GPS unit, has been pre-surveying trees, tagging them for detailed inspection by Chow and Jobber.

“We’ve assessed them by species, height, size, and overall health, inspecting them for insects and disease and any other problems that would affect the tree,” Jobber said.

“It’s a very proactive approach to tree resource management,” Chow said.

IT specialist for the group is Mo, who said he has been gaining experience using “cutting-edge technology” employed by the city, while building up a detailed database from the information gathered by the others.

“It’s very exciting for a small city like White Rock to be creating an inventory of this kind,” said Otto. “Jerry’s programming allows us to compare different aspects of trees to one an other, and compare to an ideal example of each species.

“For an important community resource like trees, it gives us a more accurate picture of what we’re dealing with, and allows us to design how we move forward.”


Just Posted

Grieving mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Stay home, cats – only pet dogs are OK to attend ‘Cat Walk’ at Surrey park

Surrey Community Cat Coalition’s second annual fundraiser planned Saturday

White Rock’s Mueller wins World Series of Poker bracelet

Third career WSOP win for former professional hockey player

Surrey high school teacher receives Loran award

First ever to be given to Surrey teacher, district says

ZYTARUK: Canal isn’t Surrey’s first ‘different’ idea

Anyone up for waterskiing in Doug’s Ditch?

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Most Read

l -->