Why focus on large legacy trees?

Much has been written enumerating the social, economic and environmental value of big trees. In addition to sequestering and storing carbon, they reduce the need for air conditioning, and offer homes to wildlife, slow stormwater runoff, add value to homes and businesses.
Looking for more information about the benefits of healthy trees? Here is a great read from treesaregood.org.
If you would like to learn more about the value of big trees, and why they are the focus of Tree Trust, here is an easy-to-read article. It makes the case that large trees are invaluable to community health. This article from Wired backs this up with science and real-time carbon measuring happening in Washington state.

Who does the work on Tree Trust trees?

Tree Trust Approved Arborists. These are specialists who employ conservation arboriculture techniques – highly skilled practices that seek to stabilize tree structure, improve growing conditions, retain habitat and a multitude of other benefits and help extend the life of our magnificent ageing and legacy trees. Each Chapter has one Tree Trust Approved Arborist working for this program. You will find them listed on each Chapter page along with a link to their website.

Tree Trust Approved Arborists have TRAQ – Tree Risk Assessment Qualification so that they can assess each Tree Trust tree to make informed decisions that enhance its health and longevity. In addition to TRAQ, Tree Trust Approved Arborists have demonstrated their knowledge and experience by submitting at least one prescription of their work required for a legacy tree and a report illustrating the work that was done. Our many thanks to Philip van Wassenaer of Urban Forest Innovations and Ian Bruce of Bruce Tree for their expertise in crafting our qualification criteria. Click here to see a sample of Philips’s recent work.

How do you pick which trees receive care?

Each Tree Trust Chapter selects their own trees – some are on private land, some are in parks and cemeteries, and some are on school and museum grounds.

In all cases the trees selected have structural issues that can be addressed with corrective pruning. Work usually includes removing deadwood, reducing the crown to encourage regrowth, and pruning to remove failing or dangerous limbs.

Do you have a suggestion for a tree that needs work? Nominate your tree here.

Where will the new trees be planted?

We try to plant saplings close to the legacy trees we are sustaining. This will let our larger trees protect and nurture the younger trees as they grow into fully grown carbon capture heroes!

How does an offset program work?

Check out our Carbon Offset page.

How is this different from other offset programs?

In addition to planting new trees, Tree Trust uses our funds to look after large old trees in our community. By extending the life of these large mature trees we are securing the carbon they have already captured through photosynthesis until the young trees we have planted are mature enough to grow into their role as carbon capture heroes.

We do not offer direct carbon offset purchases. Rather, we provide tools that suggest a donation amount to cover the estimated carbon usage when you fly, drive, or heat your home.

By extending the life of large, mature trees we are securing the carbon stored in their trunk and branches and sequestered annually through photosynthesis. This is a link to a fun student exercise to learn more about calculating the carbon stored in a particular tree.

How does your calculator estimate the carbon output from a flight?

Tree Trust looked at several carbon calculators used by airlines and environmental organizations to determine how much CO2 is emitted per passenger on a flight. Based on this research we have chosen a carbon emission number that takes into account many of the variables and factors associated with air travel. For example, planes use extra fuel to take off and reach altitude, so longer flights will use a bit less and shorter flights a bit more than the calculated amount.

How did we do our carbon math?

Flying: There are many variables that determine the amount of carbon generated from flying – length of travel, type of plane, load, etc. We wanted to keep this simple and reflective of the current thinking so we took an average of 3 existing calculators to come up with an average of 0.12 tonnes/hour of flight time. Then we used the cost of carbon at $30/tonne, higher than the federal level of $20/tonne but less than BC level of $40/tonne

Driving: We used Natural Resources Canada’s estimate of 2.31 Kg of CO2 per litre of gasoline and then calculated the fuel efficiency on various car types. The suggested donation amount is based on $30/tonne.

Can I offset my carbon from past trips?

You sure can! Follow this link and pledge to support all or some of the costs associated with a complete professional legacy tree trim. Your tax-deductible donation can be for your most recent trip or can cover all of your travel for last year!

Do TT arborists work on confers?

Indeed, traditionally most of the common large conifers have a simpler excurrent structure (single leader/trunk with radiating limbs) which is reliable and low maintenance. So even if they break from that architecture it generally requires only minimal work to “correct” it. We have had a few nominated for TBM TT, however while the trees were grand and suitable for such recognition, they did not require anything that would not simply be for aesthetic purposes.  So in that event we would be “spending” carbon and saving none in return for the effort; kind of the antithesis of what the goal is of course.  If it’s a health issue – biotic or abiotic – there is value in helping them through the stress, be it soil improving or rebalancing the disease/pest pressure. Less spectacle and pageantry than working on improving the canopy but equally – sometimes more – important.

How can I donate to a specific chapter or community?

There are a couple of different ways you can donate to any Tree Trust chapter of your choice;
1. click the “donate now” at the top of our website home page and select your community from the drop down menu
2. send an E-transfer to donations@eloraenvironmentcentre.ca and add the community you would like to support in the memo section
3. write a cheque (please make sure it’s payable to Elora Environment Centre) and mail it to: 75 Melville St, Elora, ON  N0B 1S0

How are donations used?

Tree Trust donations are a vital part of making sure we can sustain the urban legacy trees in local communities and helping to plant the next generations of understudy saplings.

Donations to the Tree Trust chapters are used in initiative such as:
Educational programs like Professor Pricklethorn and informative webinars
Arborist training and recruitment
Hands-on community initiatives like mulching programs

Donations to Tree Trust Headquarters are used for critical components of our work such as:
Amplifying Our Message: We’ll leverage the positive message of tree preservation amid the backdrop of concerning climate change news to create momentum for Tree Trust, inspiring more people to join our mission.
Expanding Tree Trust: Increasing the number of arborists we train and trees we save.
Technology Infrastructure: Delivering the technology required to run and expand our program effectively and supporting ongoing data management efforts to track the health and status of legacy trees.

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