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)

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

cherry trees

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rose Sawka, 91, reaches out to her son Terry Sawka, on a daily visit through the window, from inside Acropolis Manor where a COVID-19 outbreak took hold on Jan 19. Rose was vaccinated for the virus on Jan. 20 and as of Feb. 25 has remained virus free. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
No increases of COVID-19 at Acropolis -16 residents now recovered

Vaccinations have helped to stabilize Prince Rupert long-term care facility virus numbers

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

BC Bus North was implemented under the NDP provincial government in 2018 when Greyhound cancelled services across northern BC. The transportation funding expires at the end of March 2021. (Photo: B.C. Transit)
BC Liberals call for immediate govt. renewal of BC Bus North funding

BC Liberals spent years ignoring need for better transportation in the North - Jennifer Rice, MLA

Prince Rupert Tourism is benefitting from funding for new welcome and wayfinding signage from the COVID-19 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. McClymont Park on the gateway into Prince Rupert is one of the first things tourists see entering the city by road. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
$695,000 Community Economic Recovery funds to benefit local organizations

Prince Rupert Tourism and Gitga’at Development Corporation to receive COVID-19 recovery funds

Wainwright Marine Services Ltd.’s “Ingenika” tugboat went missing in the Garner Canal area south and east of Kitimat on Feb. 11, resulting in two deaths and the rescue of a third man. (Wainwright Marine Photo)
Tug union demands Transport Canada protect workers along B.C. coast and rivers

ILWU makes safety demands following the deaths of two men and the rescue of a third

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read