Growing Ward 29's tree canopy

More Trees for Ward 29

MoreTrees29 is a community group concerned about the lack of shade canopy in Toronto’s Ward 29.  We connect our neighbours with FREE or subsidized plantingprograms. Our efforts include tree tours, tree-care education, tree stewardship, and tree protection.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Write to us at

In spring/2015 we will resume door-to-door canvassing to encourage property owners to plant trees. If you can help — even if you can canvass only one or two blocks — please get in touch so we can invite you to a short training session.

Volunteer opportunities exist in areas like tree stewardship; photo research; fundraising; recruitment; communications (blog and Web, social media, e-news, articles); PR; liaison with schools or businesses; investigative journalism, and more.  Contact

Interested in “informal information exchange” a.k.a. a pub nights? We do that too!


2 comments on “More Trees for Ward 29

  1. Nick
    January 4, 2015

    I love the fact that your NGO exists. I would though like to focus on the trees that we already have. Particularly, the ones that were damaged during last year’s ice storm. The City cannot simply leave it to the residents of this street to report when the trees located on the boulevard need to be trimmed. The tree service trucks have been on Lesmount at least 6 times this month all for different trees. It would be much more cost effective and reasonable to do the whole street once every 5 years. If the City really cared about these trees, this is the system that needs to be in place. Otherwise, we will see more and more limbs falling this winter causing damage and loss of power. The current system of residents calling 311 to report an issue is not working on our street. Regular citizens are not educated on what trees trimming and what don’t. This is the job of an arborist. If the City had done their part to better maintain the trees in our City , we wouldn’t be missing so many trees after last year’s ice storm. How can we get the City to simply maintain and take responsibility of the trees we already have?

  2. MoreTrees29
    February 2, 2015

    Nick & I discussed this offline after I forwarded his comments to Kim Statham (Forest Policy & Planning). Here is what I found out.

    The good news = Toronto’s Urban Forestry team is moving to exactly the kind of preventive maintenance cycle that Nick advocates. Kim referred us to pages 26-29 of the City’s strategic forest management plan. Under this plan that Toronto Council approved 2 years ago, they are implementing regular, proactive pruning every street tree on a 7-year cycle.

    The bad news is the 2013 ice storm set them back. Throughout 2014, all aborists had massive backlogs; the City actually brought in foresters from out of province to help with cleanup. As described in Toronto Urban Forestry’s ice storm FAQ, they focussed first on situations that were dangerous to people or property, then on tree wounds that could invite rot or disease. Structural pruning was lowest priority, and they still haven’t met their strategic goal of reducing regular service delay times from 6-9 months to 3-6 months (p. 28 of the management plan).

    As a result of the ice storm, the City hired Davey Tree Experts to assess every single street tree in Toronto. They started in areas that placed the most 311 calls and finished the entire, Toronto-wide assessment at the end of 2014. As they proceeded, issues requiring urgent attention were reported daily. The rest of the data is now being processed.

    Ms. Statham couldn’t explain why you would see so many visits to Lesmount in one month. I wonder whether they hire different contractors for different programs, for example preventive pruning vs storm cleanup vs responding to 311 calls? I don’t know that, but I do know Toronto Hydro does its own pruning when they think wires are compromised — often not to the long-term benefit of the tree, as pointed out by Prof. Sandy Smith in a great Toronto Observer article, “Ice Storm 2013: A year later, Toronto trees still at risk

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