Equally, Norway Maples also fell in heavy numbers. They are hybrid maples with black tar spots on their leaves, also known for rapid growth. “Good, thumbs up; these need to be cut down as they are invasive,” continues Shawn, not saddened by their demise.
I’m starting to understand … what a great time to get rid of diseased and invasive trees from our landscape. “We should be planting North American native maples in their place,” he preaches. After all, they stood up to the wrath of the weather!
“What is about Canada that we haven’t an appreciation for our natural plants?” he asks rhetorically. He is a great admirer of America’s naturalist approach to naturescape. When you look at the presidential burial grounds of Franklin and Jefferson, the trees will stand for all time, just like their tombstones. Canada is moving in this direction, Shawn acknowledges, but fears at nowhere near the speed it should be.
The demand for fast growing trees is the root of the problem, as these were most commonly planted along the miles of greenscape for which Brampton is known, and now they are the hardest hit. Rapid growing hybrid poplars, willows, ash and Siberian elms all fell under the weather pressure.
There is a saying in Italian that Shawn likens the situation to, “The donkey’s good trot only lasts a short while.” Though we enjoy these trees’ ability to grow three to four feet a year, in all likelihood it is a weak growth. Shawn fears history will repeat itself as he already sees online conversations addressing how quickly we can replace our canopy.
We have to look at the devastation and tree damage as a second chance. He fears community demand for a quick fix is going to set this up to happen again. Global warming isn’t going away quickly; the chance of another weather system like this happening again is a definite possibility.
This is why, on February 4th at 7pm at Loafer’s Lake Community Centre, Shawn will hold the first of several community sessions to help educate and foster a responsible approach to canopy restoration efforts in the few months before spring arrives and the trees start to awaken … to be continued
Enrich Magazine understands that not everyone will make it to these meetings. This is why we are committed to a regular column on Ice Storm 2013 Aftermath. Our interview with Shawn is information rich and, middle February, we will be posting Part 2.
Subscribe Today! Enrich Magazine will alert you via email when Part 2 is ready for your reading pleasure. Trust us, it will be ‘enriching’!