27th October: As I was passing through the ravine yesterday, I noticed a crew of Parks people planting trees and shrubs beside the path down from the subway entrance. I stopped to talk to the guy in charge. He told me that they were planting 75 trees and shrubs that day, part of a total of 278 that will go in eventually. I did not have my camera with me, but who should happen along at that moment but my friend Cathe Gordon Green, with her dog, Coco? She agreed to take the photos below and e-mailed them to me the same day. Thanks Cathe! The first one shows the 3 trucks with plants and equipment (you can also see Coco at the edge of the path).
Here is the team leader with a wheelbarrow full of plants:
He said that his unit is a separate part of Forestry, with only 10 people, who do these plantings. After he had spoken to us, I realized that one of our contacts had already sent us the plan for this planting. It has now been posted on the web site under “Maps and other documents”. It shows that, of the 278 total, 44 trees will be planted, of 10 species: of these 16 will be red and sugar maples, 10 red oaks and the rest white birch, American beech, white pine, black cherry, American basswood, eastern hemlock and white elm. It also shows that 234 shrubs will be planted, of 13 species: of these 52 will be dogwoods (alternate leaved, gray and red osier), 52 raspberries (black and purple flowering), 37 will be choke cherry, 25 red elderberry, 21 witch hazel and the rest smooth serviceberry, wild black currant, maple leaved viburnum, nannyberry and highbush cranberry. As is now policy, these are all native species. Our informant said that, where appropriate, he particularly likes to remove a non-native plant and replace it with a native one.
Here is one of the crew hard at work:
The planting plan shows that the plants are to go into 7 areas. Area 2 is beside the path from the top of the slope behind the subway entrance to the point where the path to Forest Hill divides off, mostly on the east side. Area 1 is in the bottom behind the row of townhouses on Lower Village Gate. These were the two areas the crew were working in yesterday. Areas 3 and 4 are behind the townhouses that face north across the path to Forest Hill. Area 5 is on the slope and bottom on the west side of the path opposite the Forest Hill turnoff. Areas 6 and 7 are just east of the Bathurst St bridge.
Together with the new larger trees in the upper part of the park (see earlier posting), the two plantings of trees and shrubs that we have done with Natural Environment and Community Programs this year and the three plantings we have done with them in previous years, these all represent a substantial addition to the tree and shrub inventory of the park. Quite a number of commemorative trees have also been planted. Of course we have lost about 200 ash trees because of the emerald ash borer. We are very pleased that, with these additions, Parks is greatly enhancing the native tree and shrub cover of the park.