It was truly disheartening to see that a large branch broken on one of our new Black Locust trees between 111 and 113 Roncesvalles one Friday evenng in early October. And it was shattering to see a huge branch torn off the same tree a few days later. The RMRA’s Greening Committee Chair, Bill Montague, called 311 and was told that Forestry would check it out.
This damage had us fearing the worst, that it might have been a victim of vandalism. But, it might also have been a case of extreme carelessness. There had been substantial construction at 115 Roncesvalles Avenue for quite some time, and it is possible that the damange was somehow related, or that a delivery van or something similar snagged the branch.
We’re hoping the cause is the latter and that no one in our neighbourhood would damage a street tree on purpose. At the same time we’re aware that there are great misunderstandings about how trees fit into an urban environment. For example, many people think that tree roots are the cause of pipe damage, whereas it’s leaking, broken pipes that attract tree roots to the available water.
Thankfully, there are tree experts in the neighbourhood keeping a watchful eye. We’ll have to see how this one recovers.
If at first you don't succeed, use bigger staples.
Despite some pranksters pulling down a number of signs posted on the new trees along Roncy’s east side, our volunteers have received enthusiastic approval for the signage from passers by. Our thanks go to Martha Goodings and Bill Montague for their three hours spent on this today.
The signs not only serve to identify each tree’s common name, but we’ve added the Polish name to the replacement signs. They also highlight the planting and maintenance efforts. Looks like the tree guards and grates won’t arrive before next year, so for now the signs are the only thing protecting the trees against bikes and territorial dogs — other than common sense, of course.
Multi-function tree guard.
If you’re walking past 367 Roncesvalles, you’ll see an example of the tree guards coming to the east side of Roncesvalles this fall, along with the tree grates to be installed at grade.
The graceful curved edge at the top serves as a comfortable arm rest when you stop for a chat. These grills can also work for tying up your dog or locking your bike should all of the surrounding bike rings — now sprouting up along Roncy — be taken up.
The four-foot high, New-York style iron grill has a large enough diameter for the tree to grow quite wide before it need be removed. The grates protects the tree bed by preventing further soil compacting by pedestrians.
The City is waiting for the soil around the trees to settle before they’ll install the grates. In the meantime, cyclists are reminded to lock their bikes to the bike posts and not to the trees.