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On Sunday, July 27, approximately 100 people gathered at the corner of Torrens and Broadview avenues for the Old East York Tree Tour. This tour was conducted by Robyn Stewart from LEAF and Leigh Davidson from MoreTrees29. The tour was supported by Ward 29 Councillor, Mary Fragedakis. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

Robyn Stewart, LEAF

Robyn Stewart, LEAF

Leigh Davidson, MoreTrees29

Leigh Davidson, MoreTrees29

Mary Fragedakis, Councillor Ward 29

Mary Fragedakis, Councillor, Ward 29

We got underway right at 2:00 p.m. on a beautiful sunny day. The tour would take us along this two-kilometer route as we travelled east on Torrens Avenue.Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 27-07-14, 4.46.28 PM

 

Tour starting point at Broadview and Torrens Avenues

Tour starting point at Broadview and Torrens avenues

A homeowner on Torrens encouraged our group to help themselves to the apricots on his tree.

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A bit further east along Torrens we stopped at a very old and healthy elm tree.

Healthy elm tree on Torrens Avenue

Healthy elm tree at 34 Torrens Avenue

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Robyn Stewart telling us about the elm tree

Robyn Stewart telling us about the elm tree and Dutch elm disease

Leigh Davidson, MoreTrees29

Leigh Davidson, MoreTrees29

The elm measured approximately 13 feet in diameter

The elm measured approximately 13 feet in circumference

Leigh and Robyn taking the measurement

Leigh and Robyn taking the measurement

The elm has been tagged by the City of Toronto

The elm has been tagged by the City of Toronto

Our next stop was at a home located at 54 Torrens Avenue. The home located here had a very large mature silver maple on its property.

Silver maple, 54 Torrens Avenue

Silver maple, 54 Torrens Avenue

On the boulevard, the City has planted a Norway maple tree, which will grow and mature to eventually replace the silver maple as its life comes to an end.

Norway maple at 54 Torrens Avenue

Norway maple at 54 Torrens Avenue

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We then turned left onto a laneway that runs north to Woodville Avenue. The laneway is just west of Pape Avenue and Robyn showed us a Manitoba maple growing beside a garage. The Manitoba maple is a hardy and fast-growing tree that produces heavy seeds that offer food for urban wildlife.

Manitoba maple

Manitoba maple

Also in the laneway was an example of an invasive species of tree called “tree of heaven” which was the basis for the book “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.” Examples of ragweed, garlic mustard and other invasive weeds were also present in this laneway.

Tree of Heaven

Tree of Heaven

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Dog strangling vine / swallow-wort

We proceeded east along Woodville, crossed Pape Avenue and entered the schoolyard of William Burgess Public School, which was originally known as the Todmorden New School in 1914. July_27_OldEastYorkTreeTour_128_2014-07-27_14-49-46_1PV_6992

 

Leigh and Robyn told us about the emerald ash tree located in the schoolyard. This particular tree was tagged and has been sprayed for the ash borer, which has affected a considerable number of ash trees in Toronto.

Healthy ash tree in the William Burgess schoolyard

Healthy ash tree in the William Burgess schoolyard

Ash tree leaves

Ash tree leaves

Effects of the emerald ash borer

Effects of the emerald ash borer

Emeral ash borer larvae

Emerald ash borer larva

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Large healthy silver maple tree

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Many dead red maple trees amongst the linden trees

There are many other trees in the schoolyard of William Burgess. Some trees are doing well and others are not.July_27_OldEastYorkTreeTour_165_2014-07-27_15-08-59_1PV_7029

Wasp nest

Wasp nest

Next door to the Legion on Woodville is a honey locust tree.

Honey locust tree

Honey locust tree

Leaves of the honey locust tree

Leaves of the honey locust tree

Just north of the Legion on Pape Avenue is an enormous heritage oak tree.

Heritage oak

Heritage red oak

We continued north on Pape Avenue to O’Connor and headed west on O’Connor to Don Mills United Church. The graveyard at Don Mills United contains the graves of many of the early settlers of this area, including members of the Taylor, Smith, Skinner and Helliwell families.July_27_OldEastYorkTreeTour_188_2014-07-27_15-25-40_1PV_7052July_27_OldEastYorkTreeTour_191_2014-07-27_15-25-56_1PV_7055July_27_OldEastYorkTreeTour_195_2014-07-27_15-26-24_1PV_7059

Located in the cemetery is a black locust tree bordering Stanhope Avenue.

Black locust tree

Black locust tree

Black locust leaves

Black locust leaves

White oak tree

White oak tree

Mulberry tree

Mulberry tree

This tree is planted on the boulevard outside the cemetery. Due to the lack of mulch at its base, the tree is sustaining damage from either lawnmowers or weed wackers.

Tree damage due to lack of mulch

Tree damage due to lack of mulch

Just a bit north at 7 Stanhope Avenue is this massive red oak tree. It provides shade for not only the homeowner’s property, but also for his neighbours on each side. This tree probably dates back to early European settlement in the area.

Red oak on Stanhope Avenue

Red oak at 7 Stanhope Avenue

Decorative nose and eye on the red oak

Decorative nose and eye on the red oak

We headed south on Stanhope to O’Connor and then west to Hassard Avenue. Hassard contains several workers’ cottages that remain in good condition today. The homes at #9, 11 and 13 were built by George Taylor for some of the Taylor mills’ important workers and their families.

Worker cottage, Hassard Avenue

Worker cottage, Hassard Avenue

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We continued south on Hassard Avenue and then turned west onto Woodville Avenue. In Livingston Park there is a Siberian elm tree that suffered damage from the ice storm last winter. Its leaf growth now appears as pom poms!

Siberian elm in Livingston Park

Siberian elm in Livingston Park

Siberian elm pom poms

Siberian elm pom poms

Continuing along Woodville, we turned south on Broadview Avenue to number 1253, which is the home of Margaret McRae. Margaret’s front garden has been planted to support butterflies.

Home of Margaret McRae, 1253 Broadview Avenue

Home of Margaret McRae, 1253 Broadview Avenue

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Leigh is talking about the native garden kits available from LEAF: http://www.yourleaf.org/native-garden-kits

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Our tour ended where it began at Torrens Avenue. It was a great day and I learned so much about the importance of tree planting and the need for us all to develop the street tree canopy in Toronto.

Many thanks to Robyn, Leigh and Mary for a spectacular afternoon in East York.

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