The Tree Canada newsletter sent to my email on May 13, 2021 was filled with these interesting stories about trees in Canada and so you might want to go look up the newsletter in it’s entirety at https://www.arborday.org
Flowering Trees Across Canada
“Flowering trees or trees that start to show their leaves are some of the first and most striking signs of spring. They are a sign that nature is starting to ‘wake up’ and action is happening! Travel across the country with us and experience some examples of beautifully blooming trees commonly found in each province.”
British Colombia – Pacific Dogwood
“Found in coastal British Colombia, Pacific dogwood bloom white flowers in early spring and have red edible but bitter berries that ripen in early fall and are a common food source for many animals. Dogwood are often used as ornamental trees due to their small size and beautiful flowers. The trees are the host plant for summer and spring azure butterflies, one of the first butterflies to emerge from its pupa in the spring. The butterfly depends on the nectar of early flowering plants, such as the dogwood, as a food source.”
Alberta – Thinleaf Alder
“Often found along riverbanks, the thinleaf alder is a nitrogen fixer (i.e. it improves the fertility of the soil for other species) and their roots help prevent erosion. This tree blooms in early spring, or as early as March in some regions. The male flowers are long, soft catkins and the female flowers look like tiny pine cones. The catkins are known to be edible and are high in protein, although they are very bitter and not very tasty.”
Saskatchewan – Green Ash
Manitoba – Bur Oak
Ontario – Canada Plum
“Beautiful light pink-white flowers appear between April and May before the leaves bud. Plum blossoms are very fragrant with a very flowery smell. Canada plum is an important source of pollen and nectar for native pollinators. Many animals have been seen eating the fruit of this tree including black bears, squirrels, turtles and bats. The fruit is also edible to humans and can be made into jams and jellies or eaten straight off the tree.”
Quebec – American Sycamore
“Small dense flowers appear in April and May at the same time the leaves appear. Each tree has both male and female flowers which are wind pollinated. The male flowers are red while the female flowers are yellow. Once pollinated, the female flowers mature into fruit consisting of a small brown fuzzy ball with many small seeds, which act as a food source for many birds and animals. Naturally occurring sycamore are often found in wetlands, however they were also widely planted in cities.”
New Brunswick – Ironwood
Nova Scotia – American Beech
“One of the most abundant and widespread trees in eastern North America, red maples are usually found in swamps and areas with moist soils and have been nicknamed swamp maples. Red maple is an important host for many native insects, mammals and birds in Canada, such as red squirrels, Downy woodpeckers and Canada warblers.
Flowers appear before leaves in early spring, usually in March or April. The red male flowers and yellowish green female flowers grow on the same tree but on separate branches with the blooms, sometimes producing a mild sweet cherry or almond scent, only lasting about a week. The flowers produce fruit, or samaras, in late spring.”
Prince Edward Island – American Elm
Yukon – Paper Birch
Nunavut – Trembling Aspen
Northwest Territories – Black spruce
Written by Danielle St-Aubin, Chief Executive Officer, Tree Canada
“I recently came across some interesting information about ‘Mother Trees”, a project which highlights research led by Professor of Forest Ecology and leader of the Mother Tree Project, Dr. Suzanne Simard. Her work outlines how some mature trees take on the role of nourishing and regenerating younger trees to help them survive.”
“I had already read about the scientific evidence around how trees create communities, talk to each other and warn each other of danger, and this new information (new to me anyway) has me contemplating the nurturing side of trees. Without wanting to seem too “out there” I have to say that I find comfort in the thought of mature trees taking on the role of ensuring the successful growth of their seedlings or “offspring”. It just seems good, and right.””
“May is the month we traditionally celebrate mothers, spring and renewal, and mental health. We celebrate their role in nurturing their children or offspring and in helping them become strong and healthy adults who thrive within their community. With that in mind, I would like to thank and acknowledge all the mother trees in our communities who are in turn nurturing all of us.”
Tree Cities of Canada
“Arbor Day foundation the USA recognizes 15 Canadian tree cities of the world out of 120 recognized. Now more than ever, trees and forests are a vital component of healthy, livable, and sustainable communities around the globe. The Tree Cities of the World programme is committed to inspiring cities and towns to care for and celebrate their urban tree canopy.”
“To be recognized as a Tree City, a community must meet five core standards that illustrate a commitment to caring for its trees and forest. Our goal is to connect cities around the world in a new network dedicated to sharing and adopting the most successful approaches to managing community trees and forests.”
The city has a written statement by city leaders delegating responsibility for the care of trees within the municipal boundary to a staff member, a city department, or a group of citizens—called a Tree Board.
Set the Rules
The city has in place a law or an official policy that governs the management of forests and trees. These rules describe how work must be performed—often citing best practices or industry standards for tree care and worker safety—where and when they apply, and penalties for noncompliance.
Know What You Have
The city has an updated inventory or assessment of the local tree resource so that an effective long-term plan for planting, care, and removal of city trees can be established.
Allocate the Resources
The city has a dedicated annual budget for the routine implementation of the tree management plan.
The city holds an annual celebration of trees to raise awareness among residents and to acknowledge citizens and staff members who carry out the city tree programme.”
Photo credit Lucy
The Canadian cities that are recognized as Tree Cities of the World are:
- St. Albert
- Richmond Hill
Photo credit Lucy