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Development News

Trees suffer under ice, point to the future

After the ice, and the branches and wires and crushed cars, things looked bad. The city didn’t make it any better by saying as much as 20 per cent of the city's tree canopy had been destroyed and that people wouldn't have to apply for licenses to take down damaged trees.

"I was concerned," says Councillor Sarah Doucette (Ward 13 Parkdale-High Park), the city's tree advocate. She called in to the city, and was assured that people would have to take pictures of the damaged tree to prove it needed to be taken down. How effective this will be remains to be seen, though the councillor, who lost half of one tree and the entirety of another in her own yard, says if you take the city's hasty announcement as a license for arborcide, "We will come after you."

That 20 per cent figure also concerns her.

"I think that was a very quick ballpark," she says. "We need arborists to go out and look at these. Can we prune this tree and will it come back? But we’re really not going to know for another few years."

And as far as Doucette is concerned, those years should be spent taking a sylvan lesson or two from High Park.

"I drove through High Park after the storm," Doucette says of the park that forms a large part of her ward, "because I wanted to see what sort of devastation we had in the park. There wasn’t any devastation. Some of the branches came down, but for the size of the park, we didn’t have that much damage, and that’s because they maintain and prune the trees. If the city can put more money into pruning our city trees, we wouldn’t be losing branches like this during storms."

She also suggests there should be some education available for residents on the importance of tree maintenance to avoid the mess, damage and potential injury after storms like December’s.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source; Sarah Doucette
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