Saturday, September 22, 2007

Adopt a Street Tree

This tree died this year. Yonge Street just north of Davisville.

Recent articles in the Globe & Mail and Eye Magazine have highlighted the plight of Toronto street trees. While the summer was warm, sunny and not too humid, this has also meant that there hasn't been much rain. In fact this has been the driest summer in more than 50 years. While the trees in the valley have fared pretty well, I can't say as much for our street trees. Garbage, dog pee, constricted roots, winter salt, and now lack of water have all taken their toll on our street trees. The average life span of a street tree is 5-7 years while trees in the Don can last ten times longer. We seem to take their pleasant shade for granted, and tsk, tsk, if one should die. But this summer they are dying in droves.

So what can we do about it except lament about the city's laissez-faire attitude to maintenance and watering? How about adopting a nearby city street tree. Every day this summer on my way home, I stopped and dumped the contents of my water bottle on a street tree. While this may not be much (my water bottle is only about 600 ml) it may represent the only water this tree gets this year. But if more people did it then our street trees might last longer.

So how about it? Choose a tree, then once per day as you walk by empty your water bottle on the roots of your adopted tree. If it's convenient, say you live on a main street or you have a business with a tree outside fill a bucket of water in the morning and water your tree. It may be enough to keep that tree alive for another year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes I went out last night with a big a** watering can twice and watered the tree across the street. I think I heard 20 liters was a good amount.