CHILLIWACK, B.C. — Chilliwack is working to fight climate change the preserve local forests through tree planting.
The city has planted the first 2,000 new trees towards a goal of 80,000 new trees in Mt. Thom Park to help the forest become resilient to climate change and to supplement the existing trees for the forest’s next generation.
The new trees were planted with the help of Shakti Reforestation Ltd. and include 13 different tree varieties to maintain the existing habitat and prepare the forest cover for the future.
City officials explained the current birch-dominant forest had been damaged by Bronze Birch Borer beetles to the point that there are not enough younger trees to take over the canopy in the future. There are several species at risk that rely on the continuity of this forest cover, including coastal giant salamanders, phantom orchids and tall bugbane.
City staff reviewed geologic maps and soil classification data, along with aspect, elevation and exposure to determine seven unique planting zones in this area. Each zone has a prescribed mix of tree species for higher survival rates into the future. For example, some species of trees to be planted are able to withstand warmer temperatures and longer dry periods, such as the Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine.
Two additional phases of planting are tentatively planned for Mt. Thom Park, pending grant funding.