Guelph’s Tree Trust Trees

Click on each caption to learn more about the tree’s story.

Our first tree, with your support.

We wouldn’t be able to help these trees without you. Help us preserve our next tree by donating here. For more information, feel free to contact us at: [email protected]

About Guelph Tree Trust

Guelph joined Tree Trust in 2022. Led by a group of volunteers, assisted by Guelph Urban Forest Friends, our objective is to provide conservation care for large, mature trees on not-for-profit, institutional, or commercial properties such as churches, schools, cemeteries, group homes and long-term care facilities. Many of these institutions do not have the resources to care for the large trees on their property.

Our work complements the care that the City of Guelph Urban Forestry Department provides for public and park trees.
Mature legacy trees are a huge, quiet, living presence in our city. They provide countless benefits to the environment and people over many years. We aim to ensure these trees survive for many more years by working with arborists who will provide specialized care for them. With your help through donations, we can rescue many of these magnificent trees from an early demise due to their declining health. These trees are a living legacy in our community and a large component of our urban forest canopy. Many of these awe-inspiring trees have outlived several human generations and may pre-date the founding of the city by settlers.

Guelph is situated on treaty land that is steeped in rich indigenous history and home to many First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people today. While we undertake this work, we are acknowledging that we have a responsibility for the stewardship of the land on which we live and work. These trees are on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation of the Anishinaabek Peoples.
Tree Trust Guelph is organizing local events where a legacy tree is worked on by a team of skilled arborists to ensure the tree is as healthy as possible. At these events the public will be invited to watch the arborists at work and learn more about tree care. There may be a tour of nearby trees as part of the event. Two new saplings will be planted at the same time as part of our carbon offset and to eventually replace the legacy tree.
We welcome community members’ support through donations to Tree Trust Guelph. You can submit suggestions for large trees, especially native, that we will consider adding to our list for care. In addition, we offer a qualified arborist’s advice on the health and maintenance of older trees on private property in return for a donation to Tree Trust Guelph.

Chapter Events & News

Arborists take on black walnut tree at Woodlawn Memorial Park

Santana Bellantoni

A black walnut tree likely as old as Woodlawn Memorial Park at 160-years-old was treated to some overdue care on Saturday.
At the inaugural tree care event put on by Guelph Tree Trust (GTT) arborists hoisted themselves up high into the tree to saw off dead limbs to give the tree a much needed haircut.
Part of why Margaret Stewart attended the tree care event was because she wanted to see the arborists at work. “I also wanted to know how they’re taking on maintaining these older trees,” she said.

“Trees don’t have an option to stop growing,” said  Rob Shaw-Lukavsky, GTT member. “They will grow to the point of where the structure doesn’t support itself.”
“As a city we have a responsibility for the stewardship of the land on which we live and work. As citizens we’re stewards of trees on that land and Tree Trust organization grateful cares for the elder trees,” said Shaw-Lukavsky, as part of the land acknowledgment.  Black walnuts are a traditional food source, he said.
“Increasingly we are aware that it’s the big trees that are really important in our community,” said Toni Ellis, director of GTT.
It takes about 250 saplings to do the work of one big tree, she said.

“We recognize that management of the mature forest, the big trees also require support,” said Martin Litchfield, president of Rotary Club of Guelph South, which sponsored the event. “To maintain the health of those trees for oxygen and controlling carbon dioxide we realized it was time for us to help out on that side of forestry, that side of climate change,” said Litchfield, in an interview with GuelphToday.

“I’ve got to say that is a pretty special tree,” said Mike Schreiner, Guelph MPP.  “We know to have healthy forests and healthy communities we have to have mature trees like this walnut,” Schreiner said.
He thanked GTT for helping preserve elder trees and making sure Guelph has healthy forests.
“I think one of the lessons learned from the pandemic is just how important access to nature is for our mental and physical well being,” said Schreiner.

City councillor Phil Allt referred to the trees in Woodlawn Memorial Park as an oxygen factory. “I think quite often we forget cemeteries are essentially a living place and an affirmation of life. And the trees that we see around us are helping us all to breathe better,” said Allt. The cemetery is a place that confirms how important the circle of life is, he said. The black walnut tree is a reminder of the squirrel who planted a black walnut in Allt’s backyard.  He cheered on the squirrels for planting. We need more black walnuts to keep away invasive species, he said.

“As a not-for-profit organization Woodlawn has limited resources for the care and preservation of historical species like our black walnut,” said Rebecca Kit, general manager at Woodlawn Memorial Park. “This is only one of many historical living pillars in this cemetery,” said Kit. “It truly is a wonderful place for the living.” The cemetery has been known as an unofficial arboretum, she said.

Phil Allt
Toni Ellis
Mike Schreiner
Rob Shaw-Lukavsky

Meet Guelph’s Tree Trust Coordinators

Catherine Goddard is a long time gardener and naturalist who has recently retired and
returned to Guelph. She is glad to have found such a wonderful group of volunteers to
join who love trees as much as she.

Growing up in Newfoundland Karen Harris developed a passion for the outdoors. Now a certified arborist
she continues to use that passion to help preserve our natural resources. Karen enjoys spending her free
time hiking, crafting, and spending time appreciating the outdoors.

Meet Guelph’s Tree Trust Arborist

Full Circle Tree Care is locally owned and operated by Doug Steel, Certified Arborist; Certificate in Urban Tree Maintenance, Sir Sandford Fleming College; Diploma in Horticulture, University of Guelph. Our staff includes arborists certified with the Province of Ontario and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

Community Support & Sponsors

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