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Vancouver's urban forest on the decline: arborist

TreeKeepers is launching its spring campaign to encourage people to plant trees around the city of Vancouver.

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A Vancouver arborist says the city has fewer trees now than 20 years ago. David Tracey with the non-profit TreeKeepers is trying to change that by running a campaign this spring to get people in Vancouver to plant a tree or two.

He says Vancouver’s canopy cover is shrinking. “We’ve seen a loss of canopy cover over the city, that’s the amount of tree cover you would see if you were looking down on the city from the air, we sued to have 22 to 23 per cent 20 years ago, now we’re about 18 per cent and that’s really low. For the health of the city, we want to have a healthy urban forest so we’re doing all we can to get those numbers up and get more trees planted in the city.”

In an effort to change those numbers, his organization is selling all sorts of trees at subsidized rates, varieties including fruit trees, evergreen to Japanese Maple, for roughly 10 to 15 bucks.

He explains the benefits to having enough trees in the city. “We don’t feel as good when we’re in an environment without trees. We know it. It’s somewhere deep inside our bones. The science proves it as well, the air is not as clean, because trees do a great job of filtering out pollutants, smog and soot and different things in the air. They also capture the storm water.”

He believes some areas are worse off than others, as he says neighbourhoods such as Strathcona and Grandview-Woodlands are lacking trees the most.