Tree folly

Whenever I meet with city planning or engineering staff and the subject of trees comes up, the rather pius mantra is “we like trees too, it’s just so hard to grow them well in urban environments what with harsh winters, salt, lack of room, etc.

I usually enhance my popularity index by rejoining that the biggest enemy of city trees is The City and their work crews. [The lack of room, abundance of overhead wires, and lack of root room and planting soil are, of course, also choices the City makes].

Here’s an example:


Shown above is the view a few short weeks ago down from the side of Albert Street at Bayview Station. Notice the 8 evergreens planted by the city about two years ago. I do appreciate that we got them.

And with all the acres of empty space around those trees, where did city staff plow the snow? Where did they pack it up?


Yup, the best place to plow snow is into the tender young trees recently transplanted at public expense.

And be sure to pack it up tight:


We wouldn’t want any of those branches to escape unharmed. Let them all enjoy a nice snowbath.

Will the snow heaps do much for encouraging growth?



The short term solution to the problem at this site is to install giant boulders near the trees so crews get the fear of breaking into them.

The longer term solution is to encourage staff to actually value trees as something more than just convenient backstopping objects.

Next: protecting at-risk trees