Dying cork tree to be removed, replaced

20 Aug

This amur cork tree exhibited a greatly-reduced leaf canopy during summer 2018.

Despite efforts to preserve a number of mature trees from the original Berczy Park, the Urban Forestry Division of Parks, Forestry & Recreation Dept.  advised us that one of these beloved shade trees is dying and must be felled during the dormant season (autumn/winter).

The amur cork (oak) tree found in the centre of the Berczy Park greenspace was assessed by a certified arborist in July 2018 and determined that it cannot be saved. This follows an assessment by LEAF NGO representatives in summer 2017 that found the mature tree to be in fair (vs good, fair, poor or dead) condition, with insect damage and dead branches. The 2018 arborist review indicates that stress, reduced root flair and soil compaction during the park renovation did harm the tree’s root network, despite best efforts by construction crews to minimize impact near the mature trees.

The good news is that The City will plant a replacement tree of the same species in the spring of 2019 and our Friends of Berczy Park Adopt-a-Tree volunteers will assume care and IMG_0140watering of the tree in the spring/summer of 2019, to complement year-round Parks and Forestry Dept inspections, care and maintenance. Anyone interested in joining our eager corps of Adopt-a-Tree volunteers should review our June 2017 blog post on our Adopt-a-Tree program for details on participation and then email us at berczypark@gmail.com.



4 Responses to “Dying cork tree to be removed, replaced”

  1. Ruth MacArm August 20, 2018 at 8:00 am #

    I am so sad to hear this tree did not
    make it because of the refurbishment of the park but happy to know that one of the same species will replace it.

    I have been wondering though:
    Why have no evergreen trees been
    planted in the park. I miss the green in the winter. It looks so bleak now without them.

    Thank you.
    Ruth Armour

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Friends of Berczy Park Working Group August 20, 2018 at 8:09 am #

      Hi Ruth, thanks for your comments. Good question about evergreens – The old Berczy Park did have more year-round coniferous greenery. We don’t have an answer except we did here the head of Waterfront Toronto say at a public meeting (when asked why so few evergreens are put in new parks on the waterfront), that evergreens are often difficult to maintain, their canopy and roots often damage nearby soil and lawns, and they sort of dominate any space they occupy (ie. hard to sit under one on a hot day). I guess urban planners have a love/hate view of evergreens. In Berczy, I ‘think’ the designers chose deciduous trees that they felt were historically accurate for a semi-Victorian era park and that would offer summer shade for park visitors but that wouldn’t create dark areas or nooks that would encourage criminal activity or attract vermin like mice or rats.

  2. lydiaschoch August 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

    Oh, I’m going to miss that tree and the lovely shade it provides. It’s a shame it has to be taken down, but at least it will be replaced. Is it safe to assume that the replacement will be a sapling? If so, I hope it grows well.

    • Friends of Berczy Park Working Group August 20, 2018 at 1:01 pm #

      Hi Lydia, we expect it will be a sapling or a tree under a couple years of age. That’s why we’ll definitely get a volunteer adopter for this tree, to help ensure it gets the water and care it needs for the first year or two.

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