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Iconic oak tree replaced atop Vancouver West End high-rise

Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun

This 2007 photo shows an oak tree that sat atop the roof of a condo tower on Beach Ave. It was replaced Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. (Elaine with Grey Cats/Flickr/HO)

This 2007 photo shows an oak tree that sat atop the roof of a condo tower on Beach Ave. It was replaced Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. (Elaine with Grey Cats/Flickr/HO)

An oak tree that that has been part of the English Bay skyline for three decades has been replaced.

Crews used a crane on Wednesday to lift the 10-metre high, three-metre wide pin oak tree up 60 metres to the roof deck of a condo tower on Beach Ave. in Vancouver's West End.

The first tree, also a pin oak, was planted on the roof deck in 1987 but was removed earlier this year after it died.

Ron Rule, the landscape architect who installed the first tree and oversaw the replacement, said Thursday that he is hopeful the new oak will last 50 years.

"It looks very much the same as the old tree. I don't think people will notice the difference. I was surprised actually at how much of a neighbourhood icon it had become," he said.

He said crews replaced the soil, and the glass railings on the roof deck, which guard the tree against high winds. The oak is also secured with heavy cables.

The bulk of the $500,000 project to replace the tree went to a new waterproofing system, said Rule, adding the condo owners paid the entire amount.

Once the tree has become accustomed to its new surroundings, arborists hope to reinstall the Christmas lights that used to light up the old tree in the winter months.

ticrawford@postmedia.com