A small group of Douglas fir trees are a local landmark in front of St. Bartholomew's in Gibson's.

One of the tall trees in front of St. Bartholomew's in Gibson has to come down but three others will be saved.

Last fall, BC Hydro told the parish it should chop all the trees because they threatened a line that delivers most of the electricity to the Sunshine Coast community.

However after hurricane force winds in December failed to damage the 70 foot high, 70 year old trees, the electric utility has dropped its demand that they all come down, according to Jack Carlson, until recently a parish warden.

BC Hydro has worked with the parish and an arborist to assess the trees on its site and offered to contribute some funding to help the parish's landscaping efforts. "BC Hydro has been quite conciliatory," said Carlson.

Ironically, though, the tree that the arborist says must come down was first damaged about 15 years ago by BC Hydro topping it. The topping led to a long split in the tree's main trunk which has led to rot at the top.

"Now they don't top trees," Carlson said.

The fate of the trees became controversial in Gibson's. St. Bartholomew's architect, Dick Williams said he had designed the church so the trees could be seen from chancel windows. He said BC Hydro should put their wires underground, which the untility said could cost at least $250,000.