City seeks public help to identify tree vandals

August 5, 2022

Parks staff are looking for the public’s assistance after several acts of vandalism against trees on public property.  

A large elm at 900 Manhattan Drive was recently poisoned and died. Additionally, one Aspen tree in the Kuipers Peak neighbourhood was poisoned and because of the connected root systems, seven Aspen died as a result. 

“These intentional acts of harm to our trees are really tragic and senseless,” says Tara Bergeson, Urban Forestry Technician with the City of Kelowna. “With all the benefits that trees provide our city, the big question when it comes to tree vandalism is ‘why’? The elm on Manhattan was a mature tree providing shade, helping to clean the neighbourhood’s air and beautifying the street.” 

The Aspen are in a unique area known as Clarance Greenspace, where Clarance Avenue meets Kuipers Crescent. Bergeson says the area is a wet forest, where the deciduous trees act to moderate the groundwater, which then stabilizes nearby slopes.  

The elm at Manhattan was estimated to be 60+ years old and was in a riparian zone. City crews have since removed the dead tree, which also comes at a $5,000 cost to City taxpayers.  

Anyone found to be vandalizing or removing trees on City property could be fined under the City’s Municipal Properties Tree bylaw up to $50,000 for each tree.   

Anyone with information related to this vandalism, please contact the City of Kelowna at 250-469-8500 or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)