The First Tree

A determined, visionary team of volunteers from the Town of The Blue Mountains is working to support tree preservation for some of their storied, important trees.

In July, the program was formally launched as the mayor, three councillors, seventy-five guests, and members of the press gathered at the base of an enormous 225-year-old sugar maple growing beside the Georgian Trail in Thornbury. Following speeches and a plaque unveiling, a team of five skilled professionals from Arboreal Tree Care spent the day administering some life-extending TLC. Arborist Tobias Effinger said that, with the proper care, he is hopeful that the tree will live another 100 years.

“In phase one of the process, all we can do is take some of its grandeur away and allow the tree to make the next move,” he said. “Then we wait a few years, it will react and throw up new shoots on the inside and then we start to prune back the new shoots in phase two.”

Cyclists and pedestrians stopped to express, first, alarm that the tree might be coming down, and then support for the idea of restoration. Clearly, as are so many of the aged maples in the area, this is a beloved landmark, and the project is off to a good start.

Town of Blue Mountains is one of four communities that have partnered with the Elora Environment Centre on its new Tree Trust program. The program started as a way to provide airplane passengers and car drivers a chance to make up for the carbon cost of their travel. Today, most donors are contributing simply because they want to maintain their community’s trees and want to see their funds at work. To date ten trees have been given the Tree Trust treatment, with more to follow as donations allow.

By Toni Ellis

Scroll to Top