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A graphic chronicle of damage

A graphic chronicle of damage

  This week and next,  I am showing community associations in Kitchissippi the graphic results of Ottawa not implementing the Urban Tree Conservation By-law. Last night,  I spoke to the Westboro CA’s Annual General Meeting. On Dec. 10,  I will be talking to the executive of the Westboro Beach CA. I have created a slide show that you can view… Read more →

When will enforcement start?

When will enforcement start?

The Municipal Trees and Natural Areas Protection Bylaw 2006-279 has been in place for 8 years. When the Champlain Oaks Project started in late 2010 we were told by the City’s Forestry Services that this and the Urban Tree Conservation Bylaw 2009-200 were primarly educational tools. Enforcement would come later, once property owners and contractors were aware of the By-laws… Read more →

Moving a huge bur oak and how blue jays propagate oaks

Moving a huge bur oak and how blue jays propagate oaks

I thought people at universities were supposed to be smart. Many people who read this article about the University of Michigan’s plan to move a huge bur oak 600 feet will say,  “Wow, these smart people care about trees.” I am less generous. I say, “How smart is it to spend $400,000 to do something that doesn’t have to be… Read more →

Bur oak planting featured at Tree Ottawa launch

Bur oak planting featured at Tree Ottawa launch

A girl who festooned her hair with leaves (foreground) watches an exchange between the Mayor of Ottawa,  Jim Watson,  and Daniel Buckles (blue shirt) of the Champlain Oaks Project. Buckles then planted a bur oak sapling in the soil of Champlain Park with the Mayor’s help. The occasion? Ecology Ottawa was launching its city-wide Tree Ottawa project on a warm… Read more →

Plentiful acorns fall from big bur oak

Plentiful acorns fall from big bur oak

When Hank Jones of TreeNuts Canada (left in photo) visited Champlain Park neighbourhood to see what the acorn bounty might be this year,  he soon found himself chatting with the Kot family of Cowley Ave. Mr. Steve Kot, try (right) and his wife Kay Kot (centre) have lived 57 years in the house that plays host to the second-largest bur… Read more →

Bur oak sapling planted at St. George School

Bur oak sapling planted at St. George School

  From an acorn buried by a squirrel, a bur oak sapling grew. As it moved from a plastic pot to the welcoming earth,  this year’s planting of a bur oak marks the third time that students at St. George have been involved in National Tree Day. In all, 60 students from three classes had a chance to ask questions and… Read more →

Let’s celebrate National Tree Day … again!

The rainy summer has made the crowns of bur oaks in Champlain Park glossy with  green. Will it be a good year for acorns? Come to the site of the largest bur oak in Champlain Park, in the backyard at 211 Daniel Ave. to see for yourself. You are invited to an early morning gathering on National Tree Day,  2014. See… Read more →

Squirrels are biting off oak branches

Squirrels are biting off oak branches

If you ever wondered whether small animals,  like squirrels, understand the principle of gravity, look no further than Champlain Park’s squirrels for the answer. The rats with fluffy tails that inhabit the neighbourhood completely understand gravity. They are using physics to get acorns into their stomachs. How? By snipping off small branches of bur oak trees and then collecting the… Read more →

Bur oaks thriving on NW Avenue; so is infill development

Bur oaks thriving on NW Avenue; so is infill development

In September 2012, on National Tree Day, the Champlain Oaks and about 70 students from St. George’s Catholic School planted two bur oak saplings on Northwestern Ave. Today, both trees are thriving, despite a rocky start to life in this location. Just a month after they were planted, the median on NW was dug up to install services for a new… Read more →

The quest for accountability. . .and more

Last week,  I had a chance to ask questions of David Barkley, the head of Forestry Services, at a public meeting hosted by NCENN—a network of environmental groups in the Ottawa region.  I had three things on my mind: #1. The question of accountability: when and how does Forestry Services report on its activities, particularly in relation to the Urban… Read more →