Significant Arbutus Tree on Millstone Ave Set to be Removed for Public Safety


In the interest of public safety, the City of Nanaimo will be removing a significant Arbutus Tree on Millstone Ave. Through the services of Gye + Associates out of Victoria, a Level 2 (Basic) and Level 3 (Advanced) risk assessment of the tree was conducted. The thorough examination of the tree found extensive and spreading structural decay throughout the trunk and lower stem as well as a rapidly declining canopy. The initial assessment was performed on January 10 and a follow-up inspection in June determined that dieback in the canopy had increased by 5-10% over the period.

The removal is likely to take place in early September and the wood is to be salvaged by the Mid-Island Woodworkers Guild, a non-profit organization which provides wood and support to its members and donates a portion of the wood to local high schools.

The City of Nanaimo will be exploring the best options for replanting new legacy trees in the area and may be seeking public input in the process.

Strategic Link: The safe and effective management of our tree resource. Balancing tree preservation and public safety.

Key Points

  • The City really values tree preservation, and decisions like this are difficult. New trees will be planted in the area with the intent of creating the same long term legacy.
  • A series of resistograph and increment core samples were taken to determine the extent of decay throughout the tree. This tree was in an advanced state of decline with major structural problems and in the interest of public safety is no longer safe to retain.
  • The wood will be salvaged by the Mid-Island Woodworkers Guild. More about the guild can be found at


"Trees are living organisms and as such all trees will eventually decline and die. With a large declining tree there can be a risk of causing harm to people and property, and the decision on how large that risk is and how to manage that risk must be based on an informed and systematic approach. Sometimes removal of the tree is the best mitigating option."

Urban Forestry Coordinator
City of Nanaimo


Arbutus Tree on Millstone
Arbutus Tree on Millstone
A large visible column of decay throughout entire trunk of the tree.


Patrick McIntosh
Urban Forestry Coordinator
City of Nanaimo
250-755-4460 ext 4357

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