Urban trees need you
I want everyone to look out at your front yard, look at the trees. How many trees do you have? What species are they? Are they in good health? Now, go to your back yard and do the same thing. Consider the trees in your neighbour’s yards, the trees that line the streets, or the trees in Parks. It is important to remember that each individual tree is contributing to something much bigger, an ecosystem that supports so much life and provides many unseen benefits.
Starting my internship with the Long Branch Neighbourhood Association (LBNA), I was thrilled to see their involvement in so much, including planting trees, Tree Fest, and their work on the Neighbourwoods® inventory project. It is clear that the LBNA cares about the trees of Long Branch, and I have been thrilled to get to know this amazing community, and to work on the LBNA Tree Stewardship projects this summer.
Some may ask: “What is tree stewardship?” and “Why are we promoting it?”
It’s simple, actually, tree stewardship is the job of monitoring and maintaining trees. The important thing to remember is action.
How to Protect Your Trees
Urban trees face many additional stresses from living in the city, so they require more attention than a tree in the forest. This summer has been hot and dry, don’t forget that your trees need water too! Trees need deep long watering, as opposed to the shallow frequent watering of grass. Another way to help get your tree enough water is with mulch. Mulch benefits your tree by retaining water, regulating temperature, providing physical protection, and more.
How Trees Help our Environment
The City of Toronto has been planting new trees to raise the average canopy cover of Toronto from 27% to 40%. Planting trees in your own yard helps contribute to this goal however, most canopy coverage comes from older trees. These older trees have massive canopies that filter pollutants from the air and soil, as well as reduce storm water run-off and provide shading and cooling for the community. Unfortunately, once the tree is planted, the resources aren’t always available to look after them for the remainder of their life. This is why we need your help as tree stewards.
What You Can Do
At the beginning of the article I asked about the trees in your area, and if you didn’t know the information, that’s okay! Learning is a part of Stewardship too. And that’s why we have a lot of fun and exciting events going on this summer including: Tree Walks, Tree workshops and the Tree festival! All of this and more is made possible thanks to the contributions from our summer inventory team, Nicole, Savannah, Evan, Lucas as well as Richard, who is working on our LBNA Tree app.
We have one last member of our team, you! Get involved yourself, learn something new, plant a tree, or give a tree some water and a hug. Give back to nature and conserve the beautiful trees in our amazing Etobicoke communities.
If you would like more information on any of our projects please take a few minutes to explore our website .
Or register for an upcoming event at https://lbnasummerevents2020.eventbrite.ca
Jonathan Dionne, who wrote this post, is a Master of Forest Conservation candidate at the University of Toronto and is the Long Branch Neighbourhood Association Tree Stewardship Program Lead.
This article was also published in The Etobicoke Guardian and toronto.com.