Death of a Native Tree
This year, sadly, Ben Nobleman Park became a statistic as the notorious Emerald Ash Borer killed of one of our native ash trees. During the growing season the Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard volunteers spend hours each month caring for our fruit trees and pollinator garden. But an event like this reminds us not to take our park’s beautiful native trees for granted.
How Emerald Ash Borer Affects Trees
The larvae of this metallic green beetle bores tunnels in the living tissue just under the bark. This in turn stops the flow of nutrients around the tree leading to dehydration, starvation and death.
And so, in 2016, The City of Toronto’s Parks Forestry and Recreation Department sent a team of arborists to cut down part of the tree which had already been weakened by the ash borers.
Emerald Ash Borer History
Since its arrival to North America from China in the late 1990s, the Emerald Ash Borer has spread quickly across North America, killing millions of ash trees across the country. Another park in our neighbourhood, Cedarvale Park, lost most of its ash trees to this damaging insect in 2014.
So, this little post is just to thank that ash tree for all it has done for us humans over its lifetime. All trees clean our air, stabilize our soil, and provide habitat for wildlife.
And just because you don’t provide us with fruit we can eat, doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate you! Hopefully now we’ll spend a little extra time appreciating all the trees in our park and not just our beautiful young fruit trees.
Susan Poizner is the Coordinator of the Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard. She’s the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards and the creator of the online fruit tree care training program for arborists, master gardeners and new growers at www.orchardpeople.com. Susan is also the host of The Urban Forestry Radio Show on RealityRadio101.