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wrecsvp
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:28 pm

Hello

Post by wrecsvp » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:06 pm

Greetings,

I am a lifelong enthusiast of trees & grew up near Ottawa, Canada. I was fortunate to grow up in close proximity to very large fenceline specimens of White Elm (since dead or is that DED), a small old-growth Sugar Maple woodlot (since developed), and a "less-small" old-growth Hemlock-Sugar Maple-Beech woodlot which is still intact by some miracle and is the only Hemlock site I have seen within 30 km radius. However, this jewel of a site is also presently under threat of development.

I am a physical scientist but my first love was trees. My first "scientific" tree experience was at age 4 when I proved to my father that a grove of Green Ash was not Manitoba Maple as he supposed, via help form R.C. Hosie's classic book (Native Trees of Canada). Now in my 30s I live in Ottawa and have joined ENTS especially because of the continuing losses of our native trees to alien diseases and insects which I find emotionally difficult to accept. When I was a kid in the 1980s-90s "my" elms all died, now the Ash of Eastern Ontario are rapidly disappearing due to EAB, and though I have yet to see its impacts, the HWA threatens what very little Hemlock is left in my area. The documentation of HWA from the heroic efforts of the Tsuga Search project has produced just shocking images...I am aghast.

Urban Hemlocks of Ottawa:
While I appreciate all trees, my fondness for Hemlock has been great ever since I stumbled upon a rare grove of them near Ottawa as a teenager (and didn't even immediately recognize them, having never before seen any in spite of having read about them and being a tree enthusiast since a child). These days, I do a lot of biking and have noticed a handful of locations of mature urban Hemlocks growing in Ottawa. Maybe others will enjoy me sharing some information and pictures of these mostly healthy specimens as a contrast to the greys of HWA. Are there many other mature specimens of Eastern Hemlock growing in the urban areas of North America I wonder?

Site 1 (Colonel By Drive) is a grassy slope with little hope of any reproduction and new houses are being built possibly within the root radius. Roughly 5 individuals.
Site 2 (Vincent Massey Park) is a semi-managed park and reproduction is essentially not occuring as I have only seen one Hemlock seedling/sapling in spite of 10 mature individuals, the largest of which is 2.0 ft DBH or 6.3 ft girth.
Site 3 (Hog's Back Park) has 15 mature individuals (12 living, 3 recently dead) on a north-facing slope at the southern edge of a very busy road (Heron Road). The largest is 2.25 ft DBH (7.1 ft girth) and appears healthy (all other specimens are also over 1 ft DBH). However, the non-Hemlock surrounding trees are almost exclusively young deciduous including a nearby grove of all things White Poplar (yikes) and I have not seen any examples of natural regeneration. Is the march of Norway Maple, Blue Spruce et al. unstoppable...?

I see Hemlocks only very rarely as they are, well, very rare in my area having been wiped off the map for agriculture and other exploitation. I have heard of other Hemlocks being present in pockets near the city and will have to explore those sites as well.

Best wishes to all on this board,

Owen
Attachments
Vincent Massey Park, another specimen
Vincent Massey Park, another specimen
Vincent Massey Park Specimen, Ottawa<br />2.0 ft DBH
Vincent Massey Park Specimen, Ottawa
2.0 ft DBH
Hog's Back Park, 2.25 ft DBH specimen
Hog's Back Park, 2.25 ft DBH specimen
Hog's Back Park Specimens, Ottawa
Hog's Back Park Specimens, Ottawa
Colonel By Drive, Ottawa<br />Note House being built
Colonel By Drive, Ottawa
Note House being built
Colonel By Drive, Ottawa
Colonel By Drive, Ottawa

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edfrank
Posts: 4217
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:46 pm

Re: Hello

Post by edfrank » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:46 pm

Owen,

Welcome to NTS. I am looking forward to hearing forward to more posts from Ottawa. Where I am in western PA the HWA has not gotten here yet. I am disheartened by the ineffective response that the state has made so far in treating the pest. Who knows what they will do in the face of massive budget cuts...

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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