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Saanich residents out on a limb to save 300-year-old Douglas fir

Oct 11 2012
Cadboro Bay resident Bob Furber is part of an effort to save a Douglas fir tree - estimated to be 300 years old - that Saanich wants to cut down at Seaview and Telegraph Bay roads. 

Cadboro Bay resident Bob Furber is part of an effort to save a Douglas fir tree - estimated to be 300 years old - that Saanich wants to cut down at Seaview and Telegraph Bay roads.

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury , Times Colonist

A diseased, centuries-old Douglas fir tree in Cadboro Bay will stand a little longer after several local residents proved their bark is worse than its blight.

Up to a dozen residents rallied Tuesday morning to prevent a municipal crew from cutting down the fir, estimated to be 300 years old.

Police were called, but the crew left without firing up any chainsaws.

The municipality says the tree, dubbed Dougy Fir by its fans and featured on the website savethistree.ca, has been attacked by a fungus and must be removed.

But area homeowners question the results of tests done last spring and say an expert they hired has a plan to keep the tree upright.

Cadboro Bay resident Bob Furber said the situation is getting "messy" and that people are prepared to stand their ground.

One of the residents, a semiretired lawyer, has been working on an injunction aimed at preventing the tree's removal, Furber said.

He said the injunction, which could be filed as early as today, will be matched by one from Saanich seeking to stop the protests.

Residents want to see the evidence behind Saanich's strategy, Furber said, and to ask why the "less drastic" measure of spiral pruning is not being considered.

Discussion of the tree's condition began about a year ago.

"It's a landmark tree. It's a lovely tree," Furber said.

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