Victoria’s trademark cherry blossoms may be lost in a few years as the city goes ahead with a plan to replace aging non-native trees with native species.
City councillors this week approved a spending increase for the capital’s Urban Forest Master Plan, which once councillor says could result in a loss of a number of flower-bearing trees in the city.
Coun. Geoff Young says while he understands the need for tree maintenance, he is concerned after his colleagues approved a spending increase of $868,000 to a program that already spends $1.7 million a year.
He says he’s also sad with the push towards native species at the expense of non-native ones like the city’s famous cherry trees.
Young says he doesn’t want the city to be overrun with non-native species, but at the same time he says a modest use of some of those plants is quite acceptable and adds a lot to quality of life.
Victoria’s overall tree canopy coverage when last measured in 2013 was approximately 18 per cent, and the city hopes to increase this to 40-45 per cent over the next few decades.
The Canadian Press