East York Mirror
Evergreen Brick Works is removing 157 trees in preparation for the site's revitalization, but the end result will be a much greener area.
The removal of the trees, which has been taking place all week long, is necessary in order for Evergreen to revitalize the historic buildings that will make up the future Brick Works site. Most of the trees being removed are located around the industrial buildings slated to be restored.
The trees will be replaced once work on the buildings is complete, with 432 new trees slated to be planted either this fall or, more likely, next spring.
Evergreen spokesperson Annie MacLeod said the trees being removed must come down in order to ensure the future health of the site's ecosystem.
"There are a lot of non-native, invasive trees on the site, plus some hazardous trees, which are trees that have limbs that might fall down on a building or a pedestrian," she said. "The new trees will be native species and will be better-suited to the site."
Some of the invasive species being removed include Manitoba maples, white willows, white poplars and Norway elms. Evergreen is also removing some city-planted ash trees from the area due to emerald ash borer beetle concerns.
"Because the ash borer (an invasive insect parasite) will eventually destroy those trees, they're coming down," Macleod said.
Many of the trees are being removed from a slope near the Brick Works buildings, strewn with brick pieces and other rubble. By taking down those trees and cleaning the area, making the ground more hospitable for native species, Evergreen will clear the way for a stronger green canopy.
"The trees on the slope are non-native species, which are generally seen as weeds, and weeds grow in strange places," MacLeod said.
"We'll be restoring the slope so it can house native trees."
The tree removal was approved by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. The new, native tree species will include a multitude of silver maple, American sycamore, red oak, red maple and dozens of other varieties that work well within both to the Toronto climate and the local ecosystem.
MacLeod said contractors and Evergreen staff would do much of the replanting, but added volunteers are always welcome.
"We're trying to engage the public, or get corporate groups out, whoever wants to plant a tree is welcome," she said.
The planting will likely take place late next spring, along with the planting of shrubs, flowers and other native plant species.
"We have a lot of landscaping we want to do on the site, but if we do it now it will probably get run over by all the trucks coming in and out of the (construction) site," she said.
For more information on the Evergreen Brick Works or the tree removal and replanting initiatives, call 416-596-1495 or visit www.evergreen.ca.