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Sidewalk Trees

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I'm not certain when it happened but Bay street from around Charles south to at least Dundas is lined on both sides with young trees that seem to be taking. I assume they have access to watering systems beneath the pavement.
They are rather close to the road often about 18 inches.
Does anyone know if these young trees are all the same species, and whether they will become large enough to provide an attractive capopy over the sidewalk?
Bay Street is quite busy, and the planting seems ambitious in that context.
 
I'm not certain when it happened but Bay street from around Charles south to at least Dundas is lined on both sides with young trees that seem to be taking. I assume they have access to watering systems beneath the pavement.
They are rather close to the road often about 18 inches.
Does anyone know if these young trees are all the same species, and whether they will become large enough to provide an attractive capopy over the sidewalk?
Bay Street is quite busy, and the planting seems ambitious in that context.

A very positive sign indeed. :)
 
It was extremely wet last summer, so that could explain why they have taken so well. A couple of wet summers are great for young trees, while they get established!
 
New Trees, times, species, future

The new trees have gone in at a few different times.

Those beside new condos, for the most part, we're added when these were constructed, as per the Toronto Streetscape Manual.

Examples would include the 'Opera Place' condos on Bay south of Wellesley, and College Park Condos, just south of College.

Many others were added about 3 years ago when Bay St. was reconstructed from College to Bloor, most notably the trees next to U of T, between St. Joseph and St. Mary.

****

The trees installed in the reconstruction of the road are in 'normal' tree pits, no special features. Those put in with the condos do have automatic irrigation systems as that is now a standard requirment for all large new developments.

****

Species, I don't remember all of them, but the dominant 2 will be 'Honey Locust' (fern-like, yellow-green leaves), and acer-freeman Maple trees (a hybrid of Silver and Red Maple).

Both species are fairly urban tolerant.

But like any trees need a certain amount of sun and water, plus not too much road salt which is a major killer of street trees. More room for roots to grow is also key, which is why many new street tree installations are in long continuous planters or trenches shared by 2 or even 3 trees.

****

Many of the trees down by Opera Place didn't make it..... look for them to be replaced by an interesting new experiment.....a 'bio swale' on a major road.

For those not in the know, think... a semi-open ditch designed to treat storm water with marsh-like plants and shrubs.
 
Great info. Northern Light, thanks!
I mentioned some time ago that trees not only have to fight the odds of small root spaces, salt and other urban challenges but idiots who for some reason find it entertaining to rip off branches or hang from young, struggling trees.
Our Tenant's Association where I live has formed a small gorilla gardening group this spring to haul buckets of water to the sidewalk trees surrounding our building as needed and to beautify the City planter box in front of the building. About a month ago we walked the block armed with garden shears and cut off about 30 branches from young trees that were dead, dangling or damaged. Hopefully we can make a bit of a difference on the two streets in front of, and near our building.
 
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From DeepRoot, check out this link for information and video:

The Silva Cell is a subsurface integrated tree and stormwater system that holds unlimited amounts of soil while supporting traffic loads beneath paving and hardscapes.

The healthy soil housed within the Silva Cell serves two important functions: growing large trees and treating stormwater onsite. The integration of green utilities like soil, trees and water into our urban areas substantially improves their design sustainability and helps alleviate some of our most pressing ecological challenges – including air and water quality, rising temperatures,
flooding and erosion from daily rainfall events.

The Silva Cell meets H-20 loading standards, and is ideal for most applications, including plazas, streetscapes, break-out zones and parking lots.

Toronto is trying this out on The Queensway, and will try it out on Roncesvalles.
 
Many of the trees down by Opera Place didn't make it..... look for them to be replaced by an interesting new experiment.....a 'bio swale' on a major road.

For those not in the know, think... a semi-open ditch designed to treat storm water with marsh-like plants and shrubs.

Would that not just create a mosquito breeding ground?
 
The new trees have gone in at a few different times.

Those beside new condos, for the most part, we're added when these were constructed, as per the Toronto Streetscape Manual.

Examples would include the 'Opera Place' condos on Bay south of Wellesley, and College Park Condos, just south of College.

Many others were added about 3 years ago when Bay St. was reconstructed from College to Bloor, most notably the trees next to U of T, between St. Joseph and St. Mary.

****

The trees installed in the reconstruction of the road are in 'normal' tree pits, no special features. Those put in with the condos do have automatic irrigation systems as that is now a standard requirment for all large new developments.

****

Species, I don't remember all of them, but the dominant 2 will be 'Honey Locust' (fern-like, yellow-green leaves), and acer-freeman Maple trees (a hybrid of Silver and Red Maple).

Both species are fairly urban tolerant.

But like any trees need a certain amount of sun and water, plus not too much road salt which is a major killer of street trees. More room for roots to grow is also key, which is why many new street tree installations are in long continuous planters or trenches shared by 2 or even 3 trees.

****

Many of the trees down by Opera Place didn't make it..... look for them to be replaced by an interesting new experiment.....a 'bio swale' on a major road.

For those not in the know, think... a semi-open ditch designed to treat storm water with marsh-like plants and shrubs.

Most of the trees in front of Opera Place (phase 1 north of Grosvenor Street) struggle. The trees closer to the road do a little better than the one's closer to the building, which have a higher failure rate

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge, then click again on the image for full size.



North of Breadalbane Street in front of Opera Place phase 2 the trees closest to the street grow with mixed results, yet once again the trees closer to the building do poorly. Many have been removed and covered with planter boxes with small evergreens in them



In front of The Bay Club apartments south of Wellesley (the most recently built of the three buildings) the trees look great near the road, and closer to the building. I think they've been in there for 3, or 4 seasons now

 
The soil there isn't exposed: roots need air as well as water--that would make it extremely difficult for the trees to succeed.
 
Trees on Bay: update

I live on Bay, just south of College, and so I've been keeping an eye on the state of the trees on Bay as the summer progressed. And while there are a few that are doing well, many are still struggling and many more are just plain dead.

I took a camera with me on my walk up Bay this morning and took a few shots for the record. (Apologies for the poor quality...)

Some notes on the pics:

- Trees on Bay 02.jpg: the city came by recently and decapitated many of the dead trees up and down Bay. And there were lots of them...

- Trees on Bay 05.jpg: there are plenty of dead non-decapitated trees out there as well. Here, the Opera Place staff have come up with a use for one, tying off their window-washing gear. The trees on the south end of Opera Place are all dead or nearly dead.

- Trees on Bay 07.jpg: Strangely, the cluster of trees at the north end of Opera Place are thriving, and provide a lovely canopy.

Trees on Bay 09.jpg: From the south end of Opera Place: the trees here had been dead for so long that the building replaced them planters sitting on top of the tree pit.

Trees on Bay 10.jpg: Fresh plantings outside of Murano, including some maples which are turning very nicely as it gets colder.

Any word on new plantings, or the bio swale project? Or, more generally, changes to the city's tree-pit covers? Wasn't there talk a while back of a project to reconsider/redesign the tree-pit covers?

- J.
 

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I don't see the need for adding trees to side walks if all they do is grow pathetically and collect cigarettes on top of the soil.
 
Sidewalk trees as some beauty to the already dull grey landscape of the street, and they make the pedestrian area safer.

However, I agree that in some areas where the city has planted trees they did a half-assed job in that they didn't really put in the effort to ensure the trees live. Small planters with not much air exposure or really narrow space for the trees to grow. If space is lacking, then plant shrubs or bushes. Small trees don't look that great, but the big mature trees are fantastic to have lining our streets.
 
I've always wondered - why does the city cover sidewalk tree pits with large concrete panels, as opposed to the metal grates used in other cities? While these may protect against street salt, don't they also make it nearly impossible for the tree to get sufficient air or water?
 

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