Despite ongoing concerns over the past couple of years, residents of Aspen Grove seniors apartments are not satisfied with the Town of Nipawin’s actions to remediate the risk of trees on town owned land falling onto their building, vehicles and yard area.
Nipawin, SK – On Thursday, June 19th, at about noon, a new resident at Aspen Grove seniors housing on 6th Street in Nipawin, had just stepped outside when she was startled by a loud crack and watched a poplar tree fall on their car. Fortunately, no one was injured, but their small crossover is likely to be written off by SGI.
The incident did not come as a surprise to them, or to other residents of the building. Concern about the condition of the trees has been ongoing, and requests to the Town of Nipawin to take out the ones that pose a risk to the senior’s residence have been met with minimal response.
According to a resident of the Aspen Grove apartments, this spring town workers did come and remove two trees on the strip of town owned land that separates the seniors apartments from the large apartment building to the south. However the residents, and many others who have looked at the strip of trees growing on the hillside, have identified several trees that they feel should be removed for safety reasons.
Of primary concern to the residents are a few trees which lean down the hillside toward the apartments. Even though the trees appear healthy from a distance, conditions such as white rot, a fungus that causes rot and is difficult to detect, could be present. The land is situated on a hillside facing north and has heavy undergrowth, lending to the damp conditions that increases the probably of white rot within the hardwood trees in the stand.
The residents are currently working on a formal request, accompanied by a petition in hopes of convincing the town of the seriousness of the risk. While tenants can park in an area away from the part of the parking lot at risk of falling trees, when winter arrives, those parking spots will need to be used due to the lack of plug-ins in the visitor parking area. Some of the trees that are of concern, also pose a risk to the building and to seniors walking outside.
Town of Nipawin staff arrived the day after the tree had fallen on the car and removed it. While speaking to a town employee, the car owner asked if the town will be removing more of the trees that could pose a hazard to the residents of Aspen Grove. The employee indicated they weren’t aware of plans to remove any more of the trees.
The Town of Nipawin had not responded to a request for a statement by the time of publication.
Feature image courtesy of Anne Sinclair
Editors Note/Disclosure: The owner of the car damaged by the tree is a relative of the writer