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Old trees important, new ones too

Posted: September 28, 2020

Old trees important, new ones too

There’s a Chinese proverb that says the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the next best time is now, and it couldn’t be more accurate.

In East St. Paul, a healthy, mature tree canopy is a valued aesthetic of the community – it creates habitat for migrating song and other birds, provides shade and improves air quality.

The RM also has some amazing specimens including the bur oak forest on the edge of Silver Springs Park in Memorial Park – ESP is on the most northerly edge of this important slow growing species. Bur Oak is an important tree because it is indigenous to the Canadian Prairies and spreads from southeast Saskatchewan to New Brunswick. Bur Oak is a hardy, long-lived tree and can reach 300 to 400 years in age.

Adding to and maintaining ESP’s tree canopy is an ongoing process and the RM is doing the following to protect and enhance that canopy:
  • Trees damaged by last fall’s storm were pruned

  • Over 100 trees will be planted this year to help maintain RM stock and beautify the community, including 16 Poplar trees at the Soccer and Baseball Complex; 30 Silver Maple along the Marconi Trail; and 82 trees in the Southlands development on High Meadow Drive, Aldergrove Place, Dovewood Court, Moon Shadow Bay and Yarema Bay.

  • The RM co-manages the Dutch Elm Disease and Emerald Ash Boer programs alongside the Province of Manitoba.  A changing climate brings additional stress for trees, but also opportunities.

  • Climate change is supporting the introduction of invasive species that are threatening key species like Ash Trees;

  • More frequent storms and ice storms can cause damage;

  • Summer droughts can stress trees

Diversification of the tree canopy can help reduce the impacts of these losses. The RM has been planting:
  • Silver maple
  • Amur cherry
  • Amur maple
  • Hackberry
  • American Linden
  • Cascade Linden
  • Ornamental Flowering Crabapple
  • Mountain Ash

A changing climate is also opening up the potential for new species to thrive. Last year the RM planted:
  • Amur Cork
  • Ohio buckeye

Other species for future trials:
  • Honeylocust
  • Snowbird Hawthorn
  • Black Walnut

What can you do to help your trees?
  • Inspect for damage – including branches, stem and leaves
  • Prune trees in fall
  • If our municipality experiences minimal moisture in September and October, make sure to water newly planted trees before the ground freezes for the winter.

Bur Oak trees in Memorial Park


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