KTW has an interesting story regarding the court system levying a $27,000 fine against a Juniper Ridge resident who cut the tops off about seven trees to improve the view from the residence.
The tree toppings were reported by KTW in the summer of 2019 and followed another story that detailed an attack on trees in Aberdeen, where someone drilled holes and injected poison into the trunks of 11 pines in an apparent attempt to kill them, ostensibly for that almighty view of the river valley.
That incident was still before the courts the last time we checked in with the file.
The $27,000 fine handed out in the Juniper case amounts to almost $4,000 per tree damages and is on the lower end of what the city’s bylaw allows — fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 per tree damaged or killed.
With the city on a years-long campaign to increase its tree canopy — it has grown it to 16 per cent from 12 per cent in the past half-decade by planting nearly 1,000 trees — it is imperative that education be paired with appropriate punishment.
Is $27,000 enough punishment/deterrent for attacking seven trees for a selfish purpose? Perhaps, Perhaps not.
But fines of some amount are needed in every instance a resident decides to assault a tree on city-owned property for invalid reasons (the issue of tree removal on private property under development is another issue altogether).
The Lorax spoke for the trees and it is good to see the city doing likewise. We should all speak for the trees.