The Globe and Mail posted this article on October 31, 2020: “How the foreign Norway maple tree is changing Canada’s fall palette”.
“The forest floor of Mount Royal Park in autumn is a many-coloured carpet of maple leaves: orange, yellow, and every kind of red. The scene looks ready for a patriotic postcard.
But woven into this Canadian tapestry is a foreign interloper.
To an untrained eye, it could be mistaken for the sugar maple that adorns our flag and litters Montreal’s famous park with dazzling mulch. But that resemblance is just one of the Norway maple’s cunning tricks…
It has been a slow but steady invasion. A 2003 inventory of saplings on Mount Royal found three times as many Norways as sugars. Within 100 years, 25 per cent of the park’s trees could belong to the species, estimates Christian Messier, a professor of forest ecology and urban forestry at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) and à Montréal (UQAM).”
MLF Founder Ken Jewett responded to the article:
An interesting discussion on the Norway Maple. The choice of planting a Norway or one of the 12 Native Canadian Maples should be a easy one. The NATIVE Canadian Maple is Canada’s ARBORAL Emblem it’s on our flag-a artists concept of a Maple Leaf. The Native Maple truly represents the best of Canada’s environment.
Maple Leaves Forever campaigned for seven years to get the NCC to plant Native Maples. In desperation MLF took a half-page ad in the Ottawa Citizen pleading our case. Dr. Christmanson NCC’s Chair saw our ad and agreed to when called for to only plant Native Maples in Ottawa.
Ken Jewett, Founder
Maple Leaves Forever
MLF Executive Director Deb Pella Keen sent a letter to the editor in response to the article:
Dear Globe and Mail,
Thank you for your informative article about the Norway Maple and its invasion of Mont Royal: “How the foreign Norway maple tree is changing Canada’s fall palette”.
Maple Leaves Forever (MLF) is one organization working to promote the planting of native Canadian maple species through advocacy, education and a Thank You Rebate program which provides landowners with an incentive to plan native maples across southern Ontario.
In 2014, after years of lobbying by MLF founder, Ken Jewett, MLF printed a half page letter in the Ottawa Citizen in a final attempt to persuade the National Capital Commission (NCC) to make a formal commitment to planting native maples. As a result, later that year, NCC issued an official commitment to “planting Canadian native maples on its urban lands, whenever the planting calls for a maple tree.”
We encourage other jurisdictions to take similar action, and commit to planting native trees, and specifically native maple trees, across Canada wherever they are appropriate.
Deb Pella Keen, Executive Director
Maple Leaves Forever