The December ice storm, a setback for the tree canopy
The December 2013 ice storm caused significant damage to Toronto’s trees. The City estimates that up to 20 percent of the City’s trees may have been damaged in the storm.
The damage is a setback for a City known for its green canopy. The City’s Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Department’s Forest Management Plan 2012-2022 identified the pre-ice storm canopy cover in the City in the range of 26.6% to 28%. The same Plan lists as its first strategic goal the expansion of the urban forest to achieve a canopy cover of 40%.
We expect the City will continue with the direction in the Forest Management Plan to protect and maintain the existing canopy and to stress, now more than ever, the need for ongoing tree plantings. The Toronto Parks & Trees Foundation is running a “Recover The Canopy” campaign to gives residents and others an opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation to help rebuild Toronto’s damaged tree canopy.
In a City proud of its trees, these trees are carefully regulated during the planning approval process. Chapter 813 of the City’s Municipal Code regulates the care, maintenance and removal of trees. This Chapter also regulates the injury or destruction of trees and the minimum tree protection zone where construction is contemplated near trees.
By: Isaiah Banach