Sugar Maple moves to Heritage Status

By Natasha Jones, Langley Times - July 31, 2008

By the stroke of a pen, Langley Township council will protect a rare and sweet natural specimen.

A bylaw to designate the sugar maple at the Blair Farm as a heritage tree breezed through a public hearing on Monday.

The large sugar maple was planted as a seedling in the early 1890s at the Blair Farm, 5404 216 St., by Jonathan Culbert who brought back seedlings from Ontario.

Culbert was the uncle of former Township mayor Bill Blair. Blair's widow, Doris, and daughter, Jean Gregson were in the gallery for the public hearing on Monday.

As a council report noted, sugar maples are extremely rare in B.C., and the Blair tree is the only one of Culbert's original seedlings to survive, although several seedlings from it have taken root nearby. Now almost 115 years old, the tree turns a spectacular eye-catching colour in the autumn, attracting the attention of local residents and visitors.

Council is scheduled to give final reading to the bylaw, which forbids the tree's destruction, on September 8.

© The Langley Times