Invasive tree spreading quickly in Vancouver

VANCOUVER -- An unusual battle is brewing in one Vancouver neighborhood.

Residents are fighting to save their streets, sidewalks and homes.

Their opponent: a quick-spreading, invasive tree.

It's called the "Tree of Heaven," but may residents in the area prefer to call it the tree from hell.

Over the last month the invasive tree has started taking over Jeff Soriano's yard.

Soriano showed KGW around his yard, pointing out sprouts.

"They're everywhere," he said.

Soriano says he's probably pulled out hundreds of sprouts. He's even sprayed them, but they keep coming back even sprouting up through pavement.

Up until a few days ago two 80 foot tall Trees of Heaven were growing in his neighbor's yard.

They were cut down last week as part of The Carter Park neighborhood's war on the deciduous invaders.

"You got to fight them constantly," said Soriano.

"They are a structural hazard and apparently a nuisance," said Dan Dorsett.

Dorsett's mother had one of the trees in her yard before having it cut down last week.

The tree is an invasive species from China. It was brought to the United States back in the 1800's.

The problem is, not only do the trees grow like weeds, they overtake native species.

"It can release a chemical that can discourage other things from growing adjacent to it," explained Charles Ray, urban forester with the city of Vancouver.

The trees also wreak havoc on streets, sidewalks and homes.

"They are destructive. Their roots tear through sidewalks, decks, drainage pipes, sewer systems -- that sort of thing," said Dorsett.

Ray says the trees are often found in older neighborhoods but can sprout up just about anywhere.

He says the best way to get rid of the invasive trees is to pull them out, roots and all, when they're small.

He says while they spread quickly, they also die quickly.

It just may take some work.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment