Trees are an essential part of our world. They, in addition to being wonderful beings in their own right, provide us and the other animals with which we share our cities many valuable services. They are essential habitats for many other animals: birds and squirrels come quickly to mind. Trees modify the climate by reducing wind and providing shade. Dust and noise are reduced and pollution is absorbed by them. Trees add immense beauty to any city or landscape.
Unfortunately, trees are under attack from many directions. Climate change is bringing harder growing conditions such as excessive heat or prolonged drought. Invasive species have felled the Elm, Ash Trees (25% of Ottawa’s urban forest) are on the way out and the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid now threatens the Hemlock with a similar fate. Development and developers destroy whole forests.
However, all is not lost! Individuals, acting alone on their own residence’s lot can make a difference. Those who wish can accomplish more by joining like minded groups. For example there is a group in Ottawa, Tree Ottawa, whose mandate is “. . . to dramatically increase the scale and ecological diversity of the tree canopy in urban and rural Ottawa. Tree Ottawa shall engage Ottawa residents, private companies and public organizations to be a part of a greener community through their active participation in protecting, planting and celebrating trees in neighbourhoods and nature”