An Army of Tree Lovers

An Army of Tree Lovers

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U of T’s Faculty of Forestry is teaching Torontonians how to care for one of the city’s most valuable resources – its trees.

David Grant is passionate about Toronto’s trees. He’s particularly fond of the majestic silver maple that stood outside his Cabbagetown home. But he’d never thought much about how to care for it – until three years ago, when the ice storm hit. Surveying the downed branches in his own yard and along his street, Grant wondered about the millions of other trees across Toronto. Did his fellow homeowners know how to care for them in the wake of such a damaging event?

Soon after, Grant met Sandy Smith, a professor in the Faculty of Forestry, who had an interesting idea: students from Smith’s graduate class in urban forest conservation would work with Grant and other Cabbagetown residents to devise a long-term plan for the care of their community’s trees. Residents themselves could then follow the preservation plan. “It was like a dream come true,” says Grant. Now, he is looking to replicate the success of Cabbagetown Releaf – the non-profit association he founded to carry out the plan – in other communities. And, once again, he has enlisted Smith’s help.

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