Two cherry trees were planted on Nov. 14, in Prince Rupert outside the federal building, to replace the trees that had been cut down in the spring. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Government makes amends for chopped cherry trees

Shimizu family to attend a special ceremony in Prince Rupert where a plaque will be revealed

National attention was drawn to the historic cherry trees that were chopped down in Prince Rupert, and eight months later the federal government is trying to make amends.

Seven members of the Shimizu family are travelling to Prince Rupert for a special presentation on Nov. 15. Empire Tree Services was tasked to plant two cherry trees. The government has also installed a plaque to commemorate Shotaro Shimizu, the man who donated 1,500 cherry trees to the city in 1959-60 — after he had been interned during the war.

Shotaro’s son, 90-year-old Henry, who lived in Prince Rupert before internment, will be at the ceremony, as well as his son Gregory and his fiance Twilla MacLeod, who are taiko drummers using some of the salvaged cherry wood for bachi drum sticks.

“We managed to upset a lot of people and we’re hoping we can make it right,” said Dan Del Villano, regional manager for Public Services and Procurement Canada. The federal government is footing the bill.

Empire Tree Services ground down and removed three stumps from the trees that were cut down, and they’ve landscaped the green space outside the federal building on Fourth Street and Second Avenue West.

Rupert Lawn and Garden ordered the trees in, and they were planted on Nov. 14 to replace the trees that had been removed on March 23.

“It’s good to be a part of the solution trying to fix things up,” said Vern Barker, owner of Empire Tree Services.

While Barker was there, he noticed the four other trees that received grafts in an effort to save them. These trees had been partially cut down but the Terrace contractor, Big D Contracting. But they didn’t complete the job when they were met with resistance from residents.

Looking at the trees now, nearly six and a half months after receiving the grafts, he thinks they’re going to be okay.

“It seems to be working out, but it will be years before they’ll be beautiful again,” he said.

The plaque dedicated to Shotaro Shimizu and his cherry tree donation will be revealed Thursday afternoon, Nov. 15.

READ MORE: History behind the cherry trees the feds cut down in Prince Rupert



shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Thanksgiving Food Drive looking for donations from Rupert and Port Edward this weekend

With 30 families volunteering this year the food drive can cover both municipalities

STORY, PHOTOS, VIDEO: Terry Fox’s spirit alive and well in Prince Rupert

Town shows up again in numbers— physically and financially — to push for a cure

Holkestad’s hold off the competition at Seniors’ Open

Husband and wife duo remain top of the table at Prince Rupert Golf Course

City of Prince Rupert strengthen their commitment to Coast Tsimshian nations

Prince Rupert, Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla sign memorandum of understanding

Heart of Our City: Giving back to their street friends one meal at a time

Karlene Campbell and Marvin Spencer feed the homeless every Sunday

The Northern View Cannery Road Race: Photos and video

The Northern View’s 2019 Cannery Road Race draws hundreds of runners from Prince Rupert to Terrace

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Largest driving factor is the province’s complex stumpage system that results in high fees, expert says

20 day search for missing Labradoodle in Princeton, B.C. ends with tears of joy

The search brought out bloodhounds, and groups hoping to find Mordy

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Most Read