Daily Adopt-A-Tree Journal

Adopt-A-Tree Journal

Ed Horner

I’m an early riser and taking 45 minutes a day to look after a couple of newly planted trees in our park, two or three times a week,  is no burden in any way.  Typically I’ll fill my two 5 gallon water jugs, put them in the back of the car, take my Garden Claw and small garden spade, work gloves and a garbage bag and drive around the corner to Dieppe.  I turn the mulch, re-form it back into a donought shape, pull any weeds, and pour in the five gallons of water.  Ten minutes tops.  I then walk around the immediate area and pick up any trash people have left behind and deposit the bag in the litter containers provided by the City.  From leaving the house, filling the water jugs, doing the work and back home for a second coffee, 30 minutes – maybe 45 if I do 3 trees.  Below is a daily journal, updated as often as I think about it.  – Ed

Tuesday, May 23, 2012

I love the newly planted trees!  I’ve been keeping an eye on them over the past couple of weeks and I note that the trees that get the most abuse from dogs digging and urinating on them, are the two or three trees nearest the SW gate.  It’s the route dog owners and walkers use to get to the unofficial off leash dog walking area behind the rinks on the west side of the park.  The dogs arrive and they just can’t wait to run around and dig.  These may be the first trees I get to when we start the Adopt-a-tree program later this month.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 6am

Turned the mulch of trees 11, 12 and 13.  Watered same.  Picked up a little litter in the area.  I found a few (6) tiny plastic bags (2X2cm) with stars on them, making me think it’s has something to do with drug use.  FODP and neighbours will have to keep an eye on this.  Was tempted to pick up the litter under the south bleachers, but that may have to wait for the City crews, as there was too much.  Must have been a game or two this week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012.  7am

Watered, but did not turn mulch of trees 9, 10, 14 and 15.  Picked up a bit of trash.  Found a straw hat and hung it on the fence near the SW gate.  Might turn mulch next week.

Saturday, June 23, 2012.  6am

Picked up trash along Cosburn Ave, turned the mulch and watered trees 18, 5, 5a, 13, 14 and 15.  Found a pair of child’s yellow binoculars near tree 15 and hung them on the fence.  Tree #1 desperately needs attention.  I’ll look after it tomorrow morning, Sunday.

Sunday, June 24, 2012.  6:15am

Picked up a bit of litter along Memorial Park, turned the mulch and watered trees 1 and 16.  Checked out trees on west side behind house.  Noted tree #8, the memorial tree, has nylon webbing twisted around it.  I’ll try to remember to bring a pocketknife next trip to cut it off.

Monday, June 25, 2012.  6:15

Turned the mulch and pulled out a surprising variety of weeds on trees 6 and 7 also watered each.  While the somewhat older trees closet to the Field House walkway, right on Cosburn, are not on the FODP “new” tree map, I did turn their woodchip mulch and was surprised to find a lot of mold.  Hopefully the turning will help reduce that problem.  Also pulled a lot of weeds.  If anything, they look a little nicer.  I also walked along the west fence, picked up more litter (not a lot) and cut off the nylon webbing on tree #8, that someone had tied on earlier.  My guess is that it was attached to tie up their dog, but it’s really hard on the young tree’s bark and could lead to killing the tree.  It’s also a little disrespectful of the person for whom the tree was planted (memorial tree).  Finished by 7am.

Still only two others signed up to help with the Adopt-A-Tree program.  I may have to start bothering my neighbours to step up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 6am

Turned the mulch on tree #17 but there was way too much for this one tree, so I moved some over to tree #3.  Watered #17 and #16.  Picked up a bit of litter – there wasn’t much in the area.  Talked with a fellow about FODP and gave him a pamphlet.  I reminded him that the work we do today (adopt-a-tree) will have a lasting effect on the park for decades to come.

Went home for more water and then looked after trees #8 and #8a.  Number 8 is a memorial tree.  Turned the mulch on it and provided water.  Number 8a is looking pretty rough.  The turf has completely grown in around the trunk so I had to churn it all up and pull it out.  Very sandy soil.  Built up a berm as best I could, but not too effective.  It really needs a bit of mulch around it’s base.  The bark looks pretty rough.  I hope it survives.  I’ll try to give it extra attention.  Chatted about the weather with a couple of dog walkers.  One Border Collie kept barking at me despite the pleas from it’s owner.  She finally had to put him on a leash and lead him away.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 7am

Johnnie Mendes plaque

Memorial tree for Johnnie Mendes

Millie Joanne Yantha plaque

Memorial tree for Millie Joanne Yantha

Watered tree #5 and shrubs 5a along Cosburn and picked up a bit of trash.  Then drove round to Memorial Park side and watered tree #1.  I re-built the mulch ring on #9 and 10 as they had been completely devestated by traffic.  I then watered,  picked up a little more trash, sat on the picnic table, under the trees for a bit.

I picked up two more large water bottle jugs on the side of the road yesterday and used these today, so I only had to make one trip.  I also took photos of the memorial tree plaques and the trees themselves – I actually took the photos yesterday afternoon, but posted them this morning.

Friday, June 29,2012 7am

Watered trees 8, 8M, 18M 5a and 5.  Picked up a bit of litter, but now that the students have largely disappeared for the summer, there was only a few pieces.  Refreshing change.

Saturday, June 30, 2012 7:30am

Watered the two “established” trees nearest the concrete walkway to the Field House.  There are quite a number of “suckers” growing from the base of the tree that I’ll remove next time I’m there.

A basal shoot, root sprout, adventitious shoot, water sprout or sucker is a shoot or cane which grows from a bud at the base of a tree or shrub or from its roots. A plant that produces suckers is referred to as surculose. Root suckers may emerge some distance from the originating plant. Suckers also may arise from the stumps of trees that have been cut down.  Suckers on these particular trees are considered undesirable because the tree’s energy is diverted to the sucker rather than to crown growth.

Tomorrow (Sunday), the parking lot will be a staging area for the East York Canada Day parade, marching bands.  I expect the area will be heavily littered with trash and the lawn along Cosburn pretty trampled.  I imagine the City will have a clean up crew there after the bands leave.

Monday, July 2nd. 2012.  65:30 am

Trees 1, 16 and 17 got a good watering this morning.  I also updated the tree map for the park with a little more detail and made the features more representational with regards to size and relationship.  It still isn’t a scale map though.

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012.  6am

Bark damage on #8 is extensive.

I watered trees 8 and 8M this morning.  Number 8 is looking like it might not make it this summer.  There has been a lot of bark damage (previous years) and, while the tree is leafing, it’s very sparse.  It’s one of the few trees that I’d recommend be replaced.

Picked up a lot of litter this morning along the Memorial Park fence, mostly behind and adjacent to the bleachers.  Not all the leftovers from Sunday evening’s informal fireworks display got taken away it would seem.  There’s also a lot of water bottles getting left behind by the soccer camp.

Noticed that the park sign on Memorial Park is quite dirty and could use a good soapy scrubbing.  I might do something about that later this week, time permitting.

Thursday, July 5th, 5;45

Fifteen liters of water each to trees, 9-15.  Picked up a bit of litter.  I noticed, driving by yesterday, that the soccer day camp is underway.  It’s great that they have the shade of the trees along Memorial Park Avenue in which to rest and relax.  In this heat, I’m sure the kids would be wilted otherwise.  This is a good reminder of how the efforts of those from a couple decades past benefit us today!

Friday, july 6th.  7am

Water for trees #1, 16, 17, 5 and 5a.  Observed a LOT of plastic water bottles strewn on and around the soccer field this morning.  The kids soccer camp is largely responsible for this, from my observation on Tuesday and Wednesday.  A quick count had 56 bottles.  Maybe a drinking fountain on the south side of the park would help reduce the need for plastic bottles?

SAturday, July 7th, 9am

On the way to work today, trees 18M and the two “mature” trees nearest the walkway to the field house on Coxburn were watered.  I’ll number them on my next park map update 19 and 20, I suppose.  I keep forgetting to bring my shears to cut off the suckers on the mature trees.  Maybe tomorrow.  Noticed a lot of litter along Cosburn.

Sunday, July 8th, 5:45

Up a little earlier today after a great nights sleep in the cooler weather.  Parked behind the ice pad and watered trees 8 and 8M.  8M is looking great and seems to be very healthy with lots of new growth in the crown, while tree #8 (shown left) is still struggling.  It’s some kind of oak tree but as mentioned previously, it has a lot of bark damage either from abuse by people or maybe just insect damage, I don’t know.  Literally, every leaf seems to contain insect damage and most of them have red dots on the underside.  How it’s surviving with this amount of bark damage is beyond me!

Reloaded water and drove around to look after trees 9-13.  Tree #10 seems to be the same kind of tree as #8 and also seems to be in rough shape.  Soil, environment?  Don’t know.  You can see how the bark is sluffing off, in the image to the left.  Maybe this is natural and normal.  I don’t know.  Wish I knew more about trees.

On a brighter note, all 56 water bottles that were left behind Friday, seem to have been picked up.  I expect it was the parks crew, but it may have been the soccer camp who did the work.  Either way, thanks!

Monday, July 9th, 9am

Watered trees 1, 16 and 17 on the way to work.

Wednesday, July 11; 8am

Turned over and reformed the mulch on tree8 and 8M and also expanded the diameter of the muclch zone by about 2 inches on each tree.  Then gave each water.  I then churned up the mulch on shrubs 5a and tree 5, again expanding the mulch zone a bit.  Made sure each were well watered.

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