Tree marking on Rail Trail explained
You may have noticed that orange dots and flagging tape have shown up at four locations along the Slocan Valley Rail Trail. It’s that time again when the trees alongside the tread path are getting overgrown and need attention. Every few years we have to tackle the sections that have become worse. Fortunately most of our Trail doesn’t have this vegetation problem, but some areas do and that’s where we’re we’ll be focusing.
Why do we need to thin and prune these trees? As the coniferous trees grow, the canopy of their branches increasingly prevents snow from reaching the Rail Trail. This creates tree wells and bare patches that make it hard on our equipment and hard on trail users’ gear as well. If we want a recreational trail that folks can continue to enjoy year round, this becomes part of our maintenance.
This past winter, the minimal amount of snow our volunteers had to work with really highlighted the problem. How often would you be skiing from side to side on a section of the trail to stay in snow? The plus side is that as the snow melted, it has allowed us to note which trees are preventing the snow from falling on the trail, and we have marked them. What we do now will improve the Trail for the next several years.
That said, we are very conscious that some trees are in sensitive areas and we have to be creative in our approach. This Trail belongs to this community and we are all members of this community. We want to keep it beautiful.
Will all the trees marked be removed? We don’t know. Some are marked so we know they need to be dealt with. We’ve been pruning with pole saws for the past couple of years and now some of those trees are too tall; we have few choices left. Depending on funding we’re hoping to do this work sometime over the late summer or early fall. We’ll keep everyone posted on what’s happening. Thanks for your understanding and patience.