Learning Beyond my Area of Expertise

As the new Communications Officer for Tree Canada, I felt like I did not know much about trees and how to care for them, even less how they grow in certain areas and how they’ve evolved in urban settings. My daily tasks don’t particularly require me to know about this stuff. However, myself and a few other people here in the Tree Canada’s offices work among people who live and breathe trees. They are passionate about what they do and are very knowledgeable. This is our chance to get out and learn about trees in order to better utilize the programs and initiatives that are put in place by Tree Canada and their partners, and create new ones in the future.

On Your Bike… Get Set… Go!

Taking down ash tree

Justin from CSL Group, demonstrating his specialized equipment to take down the tree safely.

And so on a beautiful Friday morning, we hop on our bikes and set out on a group ride with the intention of learning how to identify trees in the great City of Ottawa. We started off riding along the Rideau Canal. As we’re enjoying our tour (lead by our President Mike Rosen) along the sparkling water of the canal, sharing the pathway with many mid-day runners and bikers, we ran into a crew that was taking down a tree that had obviously been hit by the Emerald Ash Borer. Looking around the city, you can see many leafless once-majestic ash trees. It was devastating to see the damage done by this bug throughout the city. But this was still a good opportunity to learn! The nice gentleman that was meticulously taking down the tree one branch at a time came down and explained to us what he was doing and what kind of equipment he was using. After an unscheduled Q&A session with the crew, we continued the tour to our final destination; the Dominion Arboretum.

Lunch Under the Tree

Bike Tour Blueberry pie

Laurence Bastien, Debra Beattie, Mike Rosen, Monette Gauvreau, Sarah Quann, Etienne Green and Muriel Fournier

After spending time walking around the many types of trees in the arboretum, reading the tags on the trees, touching the leaves and the bark and referring back to our trusted “Trees in Canada” guide, it was time to sit down and enjoy a well-deserved meal. Stories were shared over some sandwiches and a delicious blueberry pie given to us by the Mayor of St-Bruno d’Alma, Réjean Bouchard. Finally, with a full stomach and red cheeks from the scorching heat and beaming sun, we made our way back to the office with a new-found respect for tree conservation and reforestation.

New Perspective on the Importance of Trees

Now as I walk around in the city, and also in the various suburban areas as well as the country side, I recognize many trees and can identify their main features. Understanding the benefits of trees in such areas makes all the difference in my day-to-day job, and I invite you to do a bit of research on the trees that are directly on your property, in your community and parks that are around you everyday, forming bountiful landscapes and continuously providing you with clean oxygen and shade.