An historic black walnut tree in Woodlawn Memorial Park is about to receive some attention in an effort to ensure it is safe and thriving.
On April 29, Guelph Tree Trust (GTT) will hold an inaugural Tree Care Event to provide arbourist care to the black walnut, a legacy tree which may be as old as the 160-year-old cemetery itself.
Members of GTT will provide information about the tree and the pruning work. The event will include tree-related family friendly activities and guided tree walks throughout the cemetery.
GTT member Sue Rietschin says it is important to preserve legacy trees such as the black walnut as this can help ensure the longevity of the existing tree canopy at the cemetery.
“These trees sequester a lot of carbon. People might think of them as dangerous or that they could fall down, but that’s only a problem if they haven’t been looked after,” Rietschin said.
This black walnut tree is one of over a thousand trees in the cemetery managed by Woodlawn Memorial Park. Many of them are old, very large and require special expertise to prune and maintain their health.
“But arbourist care can cost a lot of money, especially for a non-profit organization such as Woodlawn Memorial Park,” Rietschin said.
The Tree Care Event is made possible through a sponsorship from the Rotary Club of Guelph South as well as from donations received by individuals and other organizations, including Guelph Horticultural Society.
“Woodlawn Memorial Park is pleased to be hosting Guelph Tree Trust’s inaugural event. As a not-for-profit organization, we appreciate the efforts of the tree trust program to assist in saving our historical trees. We have so many beautiful species of varying ages that make Woodlawn a truly unique cemetery,” said Rebecca Kit, general manager at Woodlawn Memorial Park.
“GTT is making it possible for properties like Woodlawn to maintain trees that otherwise may be left to their demise due to a lack of financial resources. The team and I are grateful to be chosen as the recipient of these much-needed services.”
GTT says the black walnut tree will receive the care it needs to ensure that the city will have the benefits of its huge canopy and root system for as long as possible.
As one of seven chapters of Ontario Tree Trust since 2022, GTT is a registered charity and a program of the Elora Environment Centre that focuses on the preservation of large mature trees.
With donations received, the goal is to provide conservation care for large, mature trees on not-for-profit, institutional or commercial properties such as churches, schools, cemeteries, group homes and long-term care facilities.
GTT looks forward to treating many more legacy trees in the future.
“We hope to hold three tree care events a year. We are interested in hearing from people about any trees in need of some loving care that might be on lands owned by non-for-profits or places that have limited budgets,” Rietschin said.
At each event there will be opportunities to learn more about trees and tree care in general.
“It’s important to do a public event where people can learn and see the arbourists in action,” Rietschin said.
“They can learn not only about the top of a tree, but also about the bottom, the roots and the area around the tree that are also very critical to keeping it healthy.”
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