On April 13th, Ken Jewett and Maple Leaves Forever (MLF) returned to Ottawa to reaffirm MLF’s commitment to supporting the planting of Native Canadian Maple trees within the City of Ottawa. The meeting was hosted by David Barkley, Manager, Forestry Services Branch for the City of Ottawa and Kendra Labrosse, landscape architect for the City of Ottawa.
David and Kendra gave us an overview of the city’s traditional planting programs and details of the planned tree planting that will be done on public lands within the City of Ottawa in 2016. David said they had a strong endorsement from the city’s Administration for the planting of native species. There is an acceptance that in some instances a non-native species or cultivar may be the better choice for the planting local. Native Maples make up a significant component of Ottawa’s yearly tree planting program. Large trees, saplings and seedlings will be planted. Each has its place in their plans.
Kendra provided the rational for the varieties and sizes of Native Maple trees that will be planted during the spring of 2016 and said plans were already underway for tree planting in 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday. Several thousand maple seedlings and saplings are planted within Ottawa’s forested lands to supplement natural regeneration and to offset the canopy loss from the emerald Ash Borer and a fungus that has been causing a decline in the American Beech in eastern Ontario. Larger native Maples will be planted as tree replacements and in expanding city green spaces.
Tree losses associated with the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) were discovered in 2008. Since then, a management strategy has been developed that will be a regular part of the City’s forestry program for the next twenty years. Early season tree injections that are being carried out may offer protection for the selected high value large trees in several areas as well as a sense of hope for the future of ash trees within the city of Ottawa, by injecting many smaller diameter ash trees that may survive the EAB and become seed producers for future generations of ash trees. It is estimated that 80,000 ash trees within the city of Ottawa will be lost to this invasive exotic beetle (from China and parts of Asia), Measures to control this pest may change over time as we learn more about this pest. More information on the EAB and Canada’s ongoing study and treatment measures can be found here on the Government of Canada website.
Later in the day we revisited Major Hill’s Park on Parliament Hill where on June 9th 2015, the National Capital Commission (NCC) planted a ceremonial Sugar Maple tree formalizing its partnership with Maple Leaves Forever. Through the partnership, the NCC is committed to planting only Native Canadian Maples on NCC managed grounds where conditions are favorable for the establishment and growth of native Maples. Maple Leaves Forever values this partnership with the National Capital Commission.
We found the tree to be in good health with its buds showing signs of early growth. A protective tree guard had been installed at its base. A stainless steel plaque acknowledging the tree planting event and its significance had been set in place close to the tree. It will endure well into the future. All was well.
The day ended with a quote from Ken, “The Maple Leaf is our country’s most recognizable symbol and it is only fitting that Native Canadian Maples grace the canvas that is our nation’s capital”.
Written by Carl Mansfield, Arboreal Consultant, Maple Leaves Forever
Setup and Editing by Mary Bella, Webmaster & Communications, Maple Leaves Forever