Record file In June, Langley Public Works Director Stan Berryman points out the old pine tree next to Village Pizzeria. The tree will get the ax following an arborist report by Eli Walton of Oak Harbor’s Pioneer Tree Service and Landscaping.

First Street tree must come down, Langley official says

One of the most recognizable trees on Langley’s First Street is getting the ax.

Public Works Director Stan Berryman announced at a city council meeting Monday night that the pine tree at Boy and Dog Park will be removed. The tree is damaging the Village Pizzeria and its roots present trip hazards, according to an arborist report by Eli Walton of Oak Harbor’s Pioneer Tree Service and Landscaping. Another tree that is less hazardous will replace it, Berryman said.

The city hired the tree expert in June to evaluate the tree’s threat to the building and its general condition. Preservation of the tree was considered to be the main goal of the examination given that the tree is in good health, Walton said in his report.

Crown reduction, root pruning and tree growth regulators were all considered as possibilities to avoid chopping the tree down, but none were enough to change its fate.

“I believe our arborist really did try to work hard to come up with some way to save that, but in his expert opinion it appears that it’s damaging the pavement enough and could be damaging the building enough,” Berryman said. “The condition that it’s in, it’s worthwhile to remove it and then replace it with something that won’t cause as much structural damage as the existing tree.”

Berryman said he spoke with Paul Sarkis, owner of the Village Pizzeria, who was happy with the decision and is gathering input on what the tree’s replacement.

In his report, Walton said the tree’s roots were lifting portions of cement directly in front of the door way to Village Pizzeria and causing potential trip hazards. He also reported that root and trunk flare have begun to “upheave the planter box attached to the building” and grow into the foundation of the pizzeria, causing structural damage.