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Letter: Windstorm reveals tree hazard at local school

With their shallow root systems, there are better choices than poplar trees for school grounds, this letter writer says
A large poplar tree lies on the ground after smashing through a goal post at Ecole Larson Elementary during an evening windstorm Friday, Oct. 4, 2022. | Christine Carter

Dear Editor:

It was with great dismay that I witnessed the aftermath of Friday night’s windstorm while walking my dog past Ecole Larson Elementary the following morning. Two of the tall, beautiful poplars lining the edge of the soccer field had fallen, one of which decimated a goal post.

When my oldest son attended Larson, I remember him playing hide-and-seek with his friends among the tall trees. The trees and shrubs created a natural play space and semi-wilderness wonderland for the children.

Unfortunately, poplar trees are notorious for having shallow root systems and are prone to collapse in heavy winds. Lovely memories aside, it’s time to revisit the use of these trees in our playgrounds to ensure our children’s health and safety.

Given the current rate of climate change, more windstorms are likely in our future. It is my sincere hope that we can replace the current poplars with another stand of beautiful trees, so our children can continue to play among the beauty of nature safely.

Christine Carter

City of North Vancouver

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