Sunday, October 24, 2021

Tree Trust Helps to Extend Life of Century Old Sugar Maple

The life span of a century-old sugar maple in Meaford’s Lakeview Cemetery has been extended by possibly 200 years thanks to funds raised by the Meaford chapter of Tree Trust.

Tree Trust is a not-for-profit organization with five chapters throughout Ontario: Centre Wellington, Meaford, Stratford-Perth, Toronto Island Community, and Town of The Blue Mountains. One of their main objectives is to preserve what has become known as the carbon-capture heroes in the battle against climate change.

Tree Trust Meaford coordinator Pete Russell was on hand on July 1 while Tobias Effinger, owner of Arboreal Tree Care, and his crew culled deadwood and pruned a 135-year-old sugar maple in the Lakeview Cemetery. “We are finally getting around to doing our first tree,” Russell said. “There’s about four hours of work to be done.”

Donations to Tree Trust go toward hiring arborists to prune and remove deadwood from trees that the trust has selected.

Meaford is blessed with a lot of beautiful old trees,” Russell said. “We have several in our scope that we feel would make excellent candidates. But we need the donations to have these trees done.”

Sugar maples respond well to pruning, according to Arboreal Tree Care crew member Hart Needles. “Pruning a sugar maple is not a lost cause compared to ash or other trees. Chances are you are going to get a long life out of them.”

The sugar maple in the Lakeview Cemetery met both the Tree Trust’s criteria and that of Tobias Effington, owner of Arboreal Tree Care.

There are many trees in this cemetery that are certainly worthy of care,” Effington said. “For Tree Trust specifically, we are looking for an old tree that sequesters a lot of carbon. This sugar maple is an old tree. It is large (19 meters tall) and stately but has structural issues that pruning will help. With our help it could live another 200 years.

We are removing the dead tips at the top and cutting out the deadwood. We are reducing the size of the canopy and we are also encouraging more vigorous growth in the new deep proximal shoots.”

A second sugar maple in the Lakeview Cemetery will be pruned during the National Forest Week, the third week of September. Details to be announced.

To donate, go to treetrust.ca. Tax receipts will be issued.

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