Read the full New York Times Magazine article here.
“By analyzing the DNA in root tips and tracing the movement of molecules through underground conduits, Simard has discovered that fungal threads link nearly every tree in a forest — even trees of different species. Carbon, water, nutrients, alarm signals and hormones can pass from tree to tree through these subterranean circuits.”
For over 10 years Neighbourwoods summer staff and dozens of volunteers have collected data about Centre Wellington trees to better understand the state of our urban forest. This summer Neighbourwoods has taken on an exciting new project using a program called iTree.
Based on the 10,102 trees inspected between 2009 and 2019, Neighbourwoods has generated a series of informative charts and graphs, to tell you more about the trees in our community.
As we could not account for the health of each tree, the measurements in the presentation are only estimates of the value of our urban forest and not the absolute correct value.
Since 2009, Neighbourwoods, in partnership with Centre Wellington Parks and Recreation Department has been planting Celebration Trees in community parks. What started as a germ of an idea by Donna Ross and Peter Szmidt has blossomed over the years, and now there are 134 trees planted and plaqued in more than 10 parks recognizing birthdays, anniversaries, love, lives lived, and milestones.
After Donna and Peter moved to Merrickville, the Program’s future was in jeopardy. Thankfully, Paul Mitchell stepped in to take over with volunteers Susan Brown, Anne Hobbs, Judi Feldman with support from Neighbourwoods coordinator Toni Ellis.
With so many Celebration Trees, it has become clear that there are too many for Parks staff to weed thoroughly. Donors are now being notified to ask them to take over the annual weeding task of their tree, then Township staff will mulch each tree, this year after August 5.
The other news is that this fall the Celebration Trees Program is winding up after 12 rewarding years. However, the Township has its own planting program so dedicated tree planting will continue, although no doubt with a little different flavour. “When I spend time in our parks and admire all our new trees, I am reminded how much we appreciate the volunteers and donors who have made this program such a success,” reflects Matt Tucker, Manager of Parks and Recreation.
For more information about the Township’s program please contact Marissa McKay at MMacKay@centrewellington.ca. If you want to order a final Celebration Tree, there is room for a couple more. If you are interested, contact Paul Mitchell at email@example.com before the cut-off date of August 1.
Once again this summer, Neighbourwoods volunteers and summer staff will be working in the field inspecting trees for Centre Wellington’s annual tree inventory!
This year, which marks the 12th year of the program, a few changes are being adopted. First, the data collection process is being streamlined. Crews are recording each tree’s species, location, height, crown width , diameter and documenting just three indicators of health. This new system means that Neighbourwood’s records can be added into the Township’s growing database which will help the management of our urban forest. Teams will only be inventorying trees on public land – parks, boulevards and front lawns up to the property line. And, of course COVID protocol will be strictly followed.
This program is made possible thanks to funding from the Canada Summer Jobs Program.
While walking your dog, be careful where you let them pee. Dog urine is a detriment to our lovely urban trees. Dog urine severely harms the base of trees. When a dog pees on a tree, the chemicals from their urine soak into the bark. They then reach the cambium (the tree tissue layer, tasked with sending nutrients throughout the tree). This layer is then damaged, destroying the tree or impacting its growth.
In fact, it’s important to keep your dog away from the base of trees as well. When a dog pees on the soil around the tree, it can create a salty crust, which inhibits water absorption. During these hot summer days, it is as important as ever to make sure our trees are getting enough water.
For more information on the topic, read: Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Dog Pee On Trees
As the weather warms up and the flowers begin to bloom, it’s important that we look out and care for our trees. Here are some quick tips to help your trees thrive this summer!
- TREE ASSESSMENT: Without leaves, it’s easier to see if you tree has any damage. Make sure to check for broken or hanging branches, cracks or dead limbs in the tree. If you do notice any tree damage, make sure to contact a qualified tree arborist at https://www.cwarboristassociation.ca/
- MULCHING: The best and easiest way to take care of your tree is to mulch. Mulch provides nutrients and moisture to the surrounding soil, helping your tree stay healthy and hydrated. When mulching, make sure to make a ring of mulch around the tree, keeping the mulch away from the base of the tree (like a volcano). The tree bark can rot away if the mulch is against the bark, leading to the tree’s eventual failure.
- WATERING: Making sure your tree is hydrated is very important – especially as we move into the warmer and dryer summer months. If you have a young tree, watering is crucial, as their roots aren’t as deep in the ground, and will have a harder time finding wet soil. To combat this, once a week place your hose at the base of the tree and put it on a slow trickle of water for 10-20 minutes.
- BLUE RIBBONS: Many in the community have tied a blue ribbon around a tree, in support of the #saveourwater campaign. This is fantastic! But please make sure that the ribbon is tied loosely around the tree. Tightly tied ribbons will trap moisture against the bark and cause damage.
With these tips, your trees will be thriving! Hope you all have a fun and safe summer!
Come volunteer with our tree inventory group!
You’ve seen cheery volunteers in their yellow T shirts for more than 10 years now. It’s a great way to learn about trees, work with really nice folks and help add the knowledge about the trees in our community. A training workshop will be offered in the week of July 13th. You will learn to ID our most common trees, how to measure them, and how to assess their health. We ask you to commit 2 hours/week for 8 weeks at a time that suits you, over July and August. If you have a conflict, subs can cover for you. To find out more, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Toni Ellis at 519-362-9469.
Due to the province’s direction on containment of the coronavirus, unfortunately our Spring Tree Talk has been cancelled.
We hope to reschedule this event to a later date. Please watch the website and the Neighbourwoods newsletter for updates.