Every Tuesday, Todd Irvine of Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) will post a stop from the Toronto Tree Tours, a collaborative project of LEAF and the Toronto Public Space Committee. The Toronto Tree Tours offers walking tours in neighbourhoods across the city as well as virtual tours on its web site. The aim is to introduce Torontonians to the individual trees in their neighbourhood while telling stories of our city’s ecological and cultural history.
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Dovercourt Park and neighbourhood tree tour: Stop 1
Standing on the path looking south, it’s easy to compare the gnarled hulking trunks of the hundred-year-old silver maples (Acer saccharinum) with the smooth bark on the young silver maples planted by local citizens in 2003. Unlike trees in a forest, trees in a park need to be manually planted because they will not reseed naturally. Packed down turf does not leave space for seeds to germinate, and if by chance a sapling does start growing it is soon cut down by a lawnmower.
The large trees in this park were planted on the same day a century ago. Unfortunately, they are nearing the end of their lives and will die around the same time. This is why it is vital to always be planting new trees to avoid going long periods when our neighbourhoods have no large trees at all.
Photograph by Dougal Bichan