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  • Writer's pictureOscar Saragossi

Tree Preservation in Etobicoke: Techniques for Maintaining Healthy Trees in Suburban Areas

Updated: Jun 25

Tree Preservation in Etobicoke: Techniques for Maintaining Healthy Trees in Suburban Areas

Etobicoke can say with all honesty that it boasts a rich network of urban trees, which provide a multitude of benefits like refreshing shade in the summer, improved air quality, and vital habitats for local wildlife. However, the suburban environment can also pose challenges to tree health. Construction, compacted soil, and limited space are all factors that can heavily contribute to a tree’s stress and decline. 

Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques Etobicoke residents can employ to promote healthy trees and ensure a thriving urban forest. Let’s look at some key strategies for tree preservation in Etobicoke in the name of empowering homeowners like yourselves to nurture your trees.

Understanding the Importance of Trees in Etobicoke

Trees are more than just beautiful additions to our neighbourhoods. They also play a crucial role in keeping the environment around us healthy and sustainable. Some of the benefits they provide include:

Trees are a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal
  • Increased Property Values

Some studies of the effects of plants on home values suggest that mature trees can significantly increase property values. A healthy urban forest can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of a neighbourhood, attracting residents and businesses.

  • Reduced Healthcare Costs

Trees improve air quality by absorbing pollutants and releasing oxygen. This can lead to a reduction in respiratory illnesses and other health problems, translating to lower healthcare costs for the community.

  • Enhanced Quality of Life

Trees contribute to a more pleasant and livable environment. They provide shade for parks and playgrounds, create a sense of place, and promote opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

  • Improved Air Quality

Trees act as natural filters, absorbing air pollutants like carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. This is particularly important in urban areas with higher concentrations of traffic emissions.

  • Better Climate Regulation

Trees provide shade, reducing heat island effects and lowering ambient temperatures in the summer. This lowers energy consumption for cooling homes and buildings.

  • Stormwater Management

Trees absorb rainwater, helping to reduce flooding and erosion. Their root systems also improves soil drainage.

  • Greater Biodiversity

Trees provide habitat for a variety of birds, insects, and other wildlife species, contributing to a healthy and vibrant ecosystem.

Tree Preservation Techniques to Keep in Mind

Now that you’re aware of what to expect from your trees, you can start to go the extra mile looking after them. The following techniques are some simple but effective ways you can keep your trees healthy and improve your home’s curb appeal.

  • Choose the Right Tree

When planting a new tree, select a species suitable for Etobicoke's climate and soil conditions. Native trees are adapted to the local environment, so opt for those before any other options. Also, consider the mature size of the tree and ensure it has enough space to grow without interfering with structures or power lines. 

  • Use Proper Planting Techniques

Ensure the planting hole is 2-3 times wider than the root ball and no deeper than the root crown. Backfill the hole with a mixture of native soil and compost, avoiding disturbing the root flare (the base of the trunk where the roots meet the soil). Water the tree deeply and regularly, especially during the first few years after planting.

Add mulch around the base of your tree to keep it healthy
  • Mulch around the Tree

Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree, but keep it several centimetres away from the trunk to prevent rot. Mulch helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

  • Water Regularly and Thoroughly

Trees need regular watering, especially during hot and dry periods. Deep watering encourages roots to grow deeper into the soil, making the tree more drought-tolerant. 

  • Prune with the Right Technique

Proper pruning can improve tree health, structure, and safety. However, avoid topping trees (cutting off large branches at the top), as this weakens the tree and promotes unhealthy growth. Consult with a Toronto-based certified arborist for proper pruning techniques.

  • Take Proper Care of the Soil

Aerate compacted soil periodically using a core aerator. This allows for better air and water infiltration to the root zone. Consider amending the soil with compost to improve drainage and nutrient availability.

  • Minimize Soil Disturbance

Avoid unnecessary digging or soil compaction around the tree roots. When planning landscaping projects, prioritize methods that minimize root disturbance, such as raised garden beds.

  • Monitor for Pests and Diseases

Regularly inspect your trees for signs of pests or diseases. Tree diseases are increasingly on the rise in Canada, and it’s a good idea to stay vigilant to avoid infection. Early detection and treatment are always key to preventing serious damage. Consult with a certified arborist for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

  • Protect Trees During Construction

If construction is planned near your trees, take steps to minimize root damage. Hire a qualified arborist to create a tree protection plan that includes measures like fencing off the area and protecting the root zone.

Community Involvement in Tree Preservation

Tree preservation doesn’t have to be limited individual responsibility. You and your neighbours can also contribute to a healthier urban forest through community involvement. Some steps to consider include:

  • Tree Advocacy Groups

Join or support local tree advocacy groups that work to protect existing trees and promote new plantings. These groups often organize tree planting events, educational workshops, and community outreach initiatives.

  • Urban Forestry Programs

The City of Toronto offers various urban forestry programs that provide residents with resources and information on tree care. These programs may include workshops on pruning, pest management, and tree selection. 

  • Tree Inventory and Monitoring

Advocate for comprehensive tree inventories and monitoring programs in your neighbourhood. This helps identify trees at risk and develop targeted preservation strategies.

  • Tree Protection Bylaws

Support the development and enforcement of strong tree protection bylaws that regulate tree removal and construction activities near trees.

Tree preservation in Etobicoke is a shared responsibility. By adopting the techniques outlined above and fostering community involvement, you and your neightbours can ensure a thriving urban forest for generations to come. Healthy trees not only beautify our neighbourhoods but also provide a multitude of environmental, social, and economic benefits. By working together, we can ensure Etobicoke's urban forest continues to flourish, contributing to a healthier, more sustainable, and vibrant community.

When it comes to caring for your trees, Loyal Tree is here to offer a helping hand. We offer a wide range of tree care services, including job site cleanups after we work. Our team is dedicated to providing top-notch service to ensure your satisfaction at every stage of working with you. Give us a call now at (647) 283-8556 to give your trees some TLC.

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