COURTENAY, B.C – The City of Courtenay is taking measures to preserve a Cottonwood tree near the 5th Street bridge.

According to the city, the tree is a big part of the local landscape and is in a prominent location next to the bridge.

New fencing has been installed around the tree in Simms Park to help preserve it for years to come.

Other plans include upper canopy pruning by an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist, native plant restoration in the area, and installing succession trees.

Trees also have monetary value as natural assets. A consulting arborist recently did an appraisal of this tree, and calculated its monetary value at $23,500.

The city added that large trees also provide substantial ecosystem services including storm water management, air filtration and cooling, and carbon sequestration, and this cottonwood was estimated to provide approximately $4,000 worth of ecosystem services over the next 20 years.

New native planting within the fenced area is also expected this fall.