Trees Please Hamilton

Green Solutions to Air Pollution

Gage Park Tree Tour

To kick off our Trees Please for 2017, join us for a Gage Park Tree Tour

Led by Charlie Briggs, RBG gardener we will be talking about tree identification, soil health and pollinators.
Wednesday May 31st, 2017
Gage Park Band Shell

Gage Park Tree Tour

We are POSTPONING our Beach Strip Restoration Planting

Due to all this rain, the Beach Strip Restoration has been postponed.  Currently,  the area has been greatly impacted with heavy, heavy rains that includes erosion, debris and the possibility that if the rain keeps coming, any plants we do plant now will wash away.   We’ll keep you posted on future dates as we are hoping to plant later this year.

V2 Beach Strip POSTPONED planting

Winter Tree Events in 2017

We hosted two tree workshops, a winter tree identification hike as well as Trees from Seed workshop.  It was great to see so many dedicated folks come out to learn more about trees. Thanks to everyone who came out!
We wanted to thank our volunteers who helped us to lead the workshops.
Special thanks to Colin Chapman who guided us on the tree hike.
And Brian Wylie and Stefan Weber for their help on the Trees from Seed workshop.
We are learning so much from our workshop leaders and we appreciate their time and support to our Trees Please project.


Photo credit: Lynda Luksasik

Our LOVE YOUR CONIFER is still going on.
From Monday February 20th – Monday March 20th, we are hosting a Love Your Conifer event.  Take a photo of your favourite evergreen and tell us why you love it.
Prizes to be won!  Email your photo and story to:

Hamilton’s Tree Map


Thanks to the Beach Council, residents and community members who came out to our Jan 10th, 2017 meeting.
The evening was rainy and windy and so we were very pleased by the turn out.

Interesting points that we highlighted about the canopy in the Beach Strip:

  • Inventorying 500+ trees, we identified 65 different tree species
  • The Beach Strip area has approximately 30% tree canopy coverage
  • A number of their large trees are Eastern Cottonwoods, which are native but will be nearing their lifespan in the next 30 years or so, something to consider when planting new trees.We will releasing our reports for both Beach Strip and Beasley neighbourhoods in the next upcoming weeks.  Stay tuned!

For more information, contact Andrew / Juby at


UPDATE: Tis the Season on Kenilworth

Today, we went back to Kenilworth Avenue to retrieve the trees we ‘planted’ in planters in mid December.

We brought the trees to the Royal Botanical Gardens to be used as part of the rebuilding of the Grindstone Creek.  The trees are creating a barrier against invasive carp and keep their destructive ways at bay.  For a number of years, RBG has had this program and it works.  The trees don’t sink into the mud but are thick enough to act as a carp barrier.  As the trees breakdown, more trees are added.  In the meantime, native plants are able to grow and thrive and create habitat for native fish and wildlife.

So the trees live on, in a different form.

More Trees Please!

And how the story began…

A group of dedicated community members have turned their gaze on Kenilworth Avenue with the intention of giving it a little bit of TLC.  The group is called “Love Your Kenilworth”.

For the holiday season, on Sat December 17th, 2016, Trees Please joined the group as they organized “Tis the Season, Kenilworth”.  A day filled with events and fun activities such as meeting firefighters and exploring firetrucks, library games, a passport that asked historical questions about local businesses, free hot drinks, caroling and much more.

In the planning stages, one idea was to try and green up the street.  A number of lit wreaths were installed along light posts but the planters on the ground were empty and bare.

That’s where we came in!

We headed to one of Hamilton’s Naturalists’ Clubs’ nature sanctuaries and cut down two trees from a tree farm.


Tree farm


We “planted” three planters.
On a side note, we were quite impressed that the planters were pretty empty and not filled with garbage – so that made our jobs easier 🙂

The trees turned out quite well (if we do say so ourselves 😉
As we were planting the trees, folks came out to thank us and express their happiness that we were greening the street and adding a bit of holiday magic to Kenilworth Avenue.

On Saturday, the day was filled with fun activities.

Thanks so much to the Love Your Kenilworth team: to Meaghan, Tammy, Jessica, Chris and everyone for all their hard work.  The day was filled with such sweet activities and lovely people.

See you in 2017!


Trees Please: Green Solutions to Air Pollution Project

By Andrew Avsec, Trees Please Coordinator
(as included in the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club’s Wood Duck newsletter)

The Trees Please project is a partnership between the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and Environment Hamilton that is studying Hamilton’s urban forest and air quality to determine priority locations for tree planting activities that will improve both Hamilton’s urban forest and air quality. We recently wrapped up the first tree inventorying field season and have found some interesting results in the focal neighbourhoods – Beasley and Beach Strip.

With support from dedicated volunteer citizen scientists we inventoried over 1200 trees which provides a representative sample from each forest stand. This is combined with air quality data collected from Environment Hamilton volunteer citizen scientists, and Landsat8 multi- spectral satellite imagery from NASA which allows us to create maps for analysis and planning.

We can also study the urban forest stand dynamics, including native versus non-native species compositions and age class distribution, classic forestry metrics used for understanding current and future forest composition. We can determine how active planting programs have been in the past, and, most importantly, we gain an understanding of the future outlook of mature, large diameter trees on the landscape (the most valuable green infrastructure assets). This analysis can indicate which size class we need to monitor to ensure a consistent forest structure. We are also able to map heat island effects, canopy coverage, and impermeable surfaces, important metrics for planning, as well as major concerns for the neighbourhoods.

The initial tree inventory analysis is interesting. There are many non-native species present in these highly disturbed landscapes. Two particular culprits that show up along fence rows are Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) in the Beasley Neighbourhood and Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila) on the Beach Strip. Both of these non-native and invasive species are heavy seed propagators and have established footholds in what has been previously “unmanaged” or “unmaintained” areas via self-seed propagation. These areas make up a large portion of the tree cover and in the case of the Beasley Neighbourhood up to 50% of the overall canopy coverage. This finding is remarkable because it demonstrates a lack of previous green infrastructure planning within the neighbourhood along with the hardiness of these invasive trees.

Green infrastructure planning is a relatively new concept in certain parts of the city, but for neighbourhoods with below average canopy coverage, it is a very important matter. It highlights the urgent need for an urban forest strategy and planning for increased native tree canopy coverage.

The age class distribution shows that there has been a significant portion of tree plantings in the last ten years as indicated by the large volume of medium trees in the neighbourhoods. It is important to keep these trees healthy and maintained in order ensure their continued succession to large mature trees. Our findings suggest that the trees we have monitored in the various size classes within both neighbourhoods are in good health for the most part, particularly once they become established (usually 2 to 4 years after planting).

We can improve success rates of new plantings by ensuring a consistent water regime especially during times of drought, and an adequate mulch buffer to retain moisture, reduce weeds, and keep lawn care equipment away from the trunks.


Black Maple

We have found some amazing trees from our neighbourhood inventories, the most spectacular of which is a wonderful mature Black Maple behind Cathedral Place on James Street in the Beasley Neighbourhood. It is growing out of the raised grave bed of an original Union Loyalist settler, Richard Beasley, after whom the neighbourhood is named. We were able to gather some seemingly viable seeds that are being stored for propagation next year.


The non-native / invasive Tree of Heaven – it can grow basically anywhere….

In addition to our inventory efforts, we have planted about 900 trees in collaboration with the City of Hamilton’s Forestry Department. The plantings occurred in the Red Hill Valley and close to the Mohawk sports complex. There was a Carolinian medley of species planted, including Common Hackberry, Eastern White Pine, Bur Oak, Red Oak, Sycamore, American Beech, and Butternut. We have to thank the city department for providing the trees, mulch and water truck and all of the hard-working volunteers who planted the saplings! When the community comes together in the city, great things happen!

The next steps in the Trees Please project include finalizing the data analysis and providing reports back to the neighbourhoods. These reports will include ideas for tree planting activities and will be made available to the public. Stay tuned!

If you have questions or would like more details about the project, please contact Jen Baker at 905-524-3339 at


Planting success!  With a BIG thanks to the City of Hamilton’s Forestry Department and our 50+ volunteers who planted 500 native trees near Mountain Brow Blvd, near the Escarpment Rail Trail.


Photo credit: Lynda Lukasik


We are so thankful to everyone who came out this year to help us with our Trees Please project!  We could not have done it without our Citizen Foresters and Citizen Scientists.

We are now collecting the data to create reports for the two neighbourhoods, Beasley and Beach Strip and will be presenting them in the coming months.  Stay tuned!


Are you interested in air monitoring?  We can lend you a Particulate Matter (PM) device so you can see what the levels are in your area.  Particulate is a fine dust that more and more scientists, researchers and Ministry of Labour are paying more attention to.  The really fine stuff (Particulate Matter 2.5) gets deep into our lungs and we have a hard time getting it back out.  Our air monitors pick up Particulate Matter 2.5 and the larger stuff (the stuff we can see) Particulate Matter 10.  We can provide a quick one on one training session and lend you a monitor and you can see what the levels of PM are in your ‘hood.  We take the data you collected and added to our map.  For more information, email or call 905-549-0900

Please note: in case of inclement weather, we’ll be giving as much notice as possible if we need to cancel.  Our air monitors and mini Ipads are not happy in rainy weather.  We’ll update this website and email everyone who RSVPs with us.  But feel free to email or call the office to confirm 905-549-0900.

If you can join us once or more, that’s great!