Jerkin’ out the roots…

By David F. Rooney

Nobody likes to see any of our urban trees cut down, but we often don’t think about the men and women whose job it is to get rid of them on orders from their bosses and, ultimately, City Council.

Cutting them down is perhaps the easiest part of the task. Getting rid of the root systems is a little more problematic.

Here’s a short photo feature that clearly shows what you have to do to get rid of the roots:

Remember those lovely — but mildewy — King Crimson Maple trees that the City cut down at BC Hydro’s request a month or so ago? Well, a two-man crew from Engineering and Public Works has for the past couple ofd days had the thankless task of having to clear out the earth from the in-pavement planters and jerk out the defunct trees’ root systems. Jason Cameron (left) and Matt McCaw were hard at work clearing the last of five planters on Connaught Avenue on Wednesday right in front of Sangha Bean Cafe. Watching them work you quickly realized it was not an easy task. David F. Rooney photo
First, as Cameron used a high-pressure hose to loosen the soil and gravel, McCaw manipulated the large suction nozzle from the City’s vacuum truck to suck it all up. David F. Rooney photo
Gradually, they revealed the top of the tree’s root system. David F. Rooney photo
They they sucked up the remaining dirt and gravel. David F. Rooney photo
Here’s the doomed root system. David F. Rooney photo
McCaw administers a coupe de grace to the root system with a chain saw as Cameron looks on. David F. Rooney photo
Then they jerked out the roots. David F. Rooney photo
And, finally, they tossed the roots in the back of the truck carrying their tools. David F. Rooney photo
Now, all that remains is a hole covered by a grate. The City is, however, planning on replacing the trees soon. David F. Rooney photo