In October of 2018, the City had planned to remove the second Empress Tree due to the health of the tree and public safety concerns. However, the City has taken a further review of this decision after hearing concerns raised as to whether or not there was a potential to save the second Empress Tree. The City hired an independent Arborist to review and further investigate options for retaining the tree.
The independent Arborist report noted that an important step the City can take to save the tree would be to keep the current retaining wall. The Arborist also outlined other measures to retain the tree, including safety issues, such as using cables to anchor the tree into secure devices installed in the ground, monitoring the decay, trimming exposed roots, and doing follow-up tests one year later to determine if the decayed area is expanding within the stem of the tree. The Arborist also noted that despite best efforts, the tree may continue to decline and die within the next few years.
The City recognizes that this tree is of great importance to many residents in White Rock and will be using best efforts to provide it with care and attention.