UBC takes pride in the diversity and amount of trees it has planted on campus since 1925. There are approximately 8,000 trees planted and over 10,000 native trees in natural settings. The University has professional arborists who manage this urban forest.
UBC encourages tree retention, or conservation through relocation on campus, whenever possible. However, as part of the natural process of aging and renewal, some trees decay and are at risk of falling. From time to time, under the guidance of UBC’s arborists, dying or decaying trees are removed before they become a safety hazard.
UBC staff is partnering with faculty and technical experts to develop a new campus-wide biodiversity and tree removal strategy. The strategy is to evaluate the impact of development on existing site biomass (trees, shrubs and other vegetation) against the future proposed biomass, 10 years from the completion of the development.
This new approach will go beyond merely planting new trees with the aim of achieving equal or within the vicinity. This approach is based on best practice standards established by Sustainable Sites Initiative (i.e., LEED for landscapes).
UBC is committed to enhancing the ecological and social well-being of the campus on all projects, and will continue to apply and learn from best practices about how to manage impacts of growth as the campus evolves.
November 7, 2019: Wesbrook Community Centre
Five trees located on the southwest side of the Wesbrook Community Centre are being removed. A certified arborist examined the trees and determined that they range in condition from moderate to poor and may be prone to failure.
The trees are being removed due to their poor health and proximity to the new child care and play area to be built on the site. The trees range in size from 43 cm to 76 cm DBH (Diameter at Breast Height). Six new trees will be planted as part of the planting scheme for the child care centre, in compliance with neighbourhood planning policy. The trees are being removed starting November 7, 2019.
October 28, 2019: Cecil Green Squash Court
A Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) is being removed from the east side of Cecil Green Squash Court. The tree is in poor condition and is being removed for safety reasons. A replacement tree will be planted in March 2020. The tree removal will start the week of October 28, 2019.
October 7, 2019: Pacific Residences Student Housing Project
Providing more student housing is a priority for the university. The new Pacific Residences project will add 940 beds for upper-year students, a food outlet, common areas and green spaces. The project comprises five buildings and will require tree removals.
At least 140 new trees will be planted as part of the new landscape and public realm plans along with diverse native and adapted plants, lighting, multi-purpose lawn areas, seating and plaza areas. Each of the building sites will require the removal of trees that have trunks ranging in size from 15cm to 125 cm in diameter. A Certified Arborist determined that 1/3 of the trees being removed are in poor condition. Tree removals will begin the week of October 7, 2019.
September 23, 2019: Crescent Road and East Mall
A 12" diameter Raywood Ash fell over on the evening of September 22, 2019. It is located near the corner of Crescent Road and East Mall across from Buchanan. The root plate was extremely small for the size of the canopy and this is the reason why it failed. The UBC arborist recommends a different species of tree for its replacement. The tree crew will remove the tree on September 23. The branches will be chipped and used in the campus gardens.
August 30, 2019: Counselling Services Modular Building
One Deerhorn Cedar (Thujopsis dolabrata) with DBH of 20cm (8”) will be removed from the construction site of a new, modular building on the lot adjacent to Brock Hall. The building is expected to be in place for 3 – 5 years and will be occupied by student counselling services. This tree falls within the building footprint and is required to be removed to accommodate the building. Removal will start on Friday, August 30, 2019.
A replacement tree will not be planted on the site. However, the project is making a donation to Building Operations for biomass replacement plantings elsewhere on campus.
August 19, 2019: District Energy Systems project
Two Scots Pine trees (P. sylvestris), one Black Pine (P. nigra) and one Giant Redwood tree (S. giganteum) will be removed from the site starting on August 19, 2019. Four trees are being removed from the Southeast corner of North Parkade. The trees range from 15 to 58 DBH (Diameter at Breast Height).
Removal of the trees is necessary to make way for an underground utility upgrade for the District Energy System (DES) serving the campus. The roots of the trees are in conflict with the upgrade plans. Four new trees will be planted in the vicinity in areas that are not in conflict with utility alignments.
August 12, 2019: Nobel House
One Fastigiate Red Maple tree (20 - 40 cm dbh) located along the sidewalk near Nobel House is being removed. BC Hydro found that the tree’s roots are too close to where they are installing an underground electrical duct and the tree must be removed to allow the work to proceed.
A replacement tree will be planted in a nearby location. It will be a Handkerchief tree (Davidia involucrata). The tree will be removed starting Monday, August 12, 2019.
July 25, 2019: Tree removal, Scarlet Oak, Bosque
One Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) in very poor condition was removed from the Oak Bosque along East Mall south of Brock Hall. The Scarlet Oak that failed in the Bosque had a coe dominate crown / canopy (two main branches arising from the same attachment giving it a Y appearance.) The side that failed had too much weight for the angle it had grown into ( phototropism).
June 25, 2019: Tree removals on Wesbrook Mall
Seven Norway Maple trees located along Wesbrook Mall are being removed to facilitate roadworks and bus stop upgrades by TransLink for the new 41st Ave B-Line.
Most of the trees are in the roadway median between Agronomy Road and West 16th Ave. The trees are being removed to widen the road and install a bus-only lane for the new 41st Ave B-Line. Two other trees will be removed from near the Centre for Brain Health and relocated to another site on campus.
June 15, 2019: Tree removals on Birney Avenue (Mundell House site)
Two Magnolia trees (Grandiflora) located on Birney Avenue at the North West side of the construction site for Mundell House will be temporarily relocated until construction is complete. The temporary removal of the trees is required to protect them since their roots extend into the construction zone. The trees will be transplanted and protected off-site during construction and will be replanted in their original location when construction is complete. A certified arborist examined the trees and determined that they are in moderate health and can be transplanted successfully.
Removals will start week of June 15, 2019.
May 24, 2019: Tree removals at future Pacific Residence site
Six trees located on the site of the new modular child care buildings between Revelstoke Court and Salmo Court will be removed. Trees include three Western Red Cedar (C. Deodara), one Yoshino Cherry (P. x yedoensis) and one Douglas Fir (P. menziesii). A certified arborist examined the trees and determined that the trees are in moderate to poor health and recommends that they be removed. The trees are being removed due to their poor health and proximity to modular childcare buildings to be located on the site. The trees range from 18 cm DBH to 85 cm DBH.
Removal starting Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Some of the trees will be reutilized as play structures in UBC Child Care sites.
May 14, 2019: Tree removals at future Pacific Residence site
Six trees located on the site of the new modular child care buildings between Revelstoke Court and Salmo Court will be removed. Trees include three Western Red Cedar (T. plicata), one Deodar Cedar (C. Deodara), one Yoshino Cherry (P. x yedoensis) and one Douglas Fir (P. menziesii). A certified arborist examined the trees and determined that the trees are in moderate to poor health and recommends that they be removed.
Tree removals will start May 14, 2019.
April 29, 2019: Temporary tree removal of street tree
One Galaxy Magnolia street tree is being temporarily removed from its location on Ross Drive next to the Georgia Point and Oakwood residential development.
The street tree is being removed to enable the connection of District Energy services to the site and will be returned to its location at the completion of the project. Removal will start the week of April 29, 2019.
A single Maple tree (A. rubrum) located in the boulevard along Birney Avenue will be removed to create a truck access point to Lot 6. The lot is being used as a staging area for construction vehicles.
A certified arborist examined the tree and it is in good health. The tree will be temporarily transplanted and protected off-site. Once construction is complete the tree will be returned and replanted in the boulevard.
Removal will start January 21, 2019.
January 12, 2019: Birch trees on West Mall
Twelve Birch trees (Betula pendula) are being removed from the east side of West Mall at Thunderbird Residence, 2440 West Mall. A Certified Arborist determined that the trees are infested by Bronze Birch Bark Borers. As a result, the trees are dying and must be removed for safety reasons. The trees will be replaced with twelve Kentucky coffee trees (Gymnocladus dioicus).
The trees will be removed starting January 12, 2019.