“If you had asked me 20 years ago, I would have said that I wanted this tree cut down,” said a McQuesten resident, referring to the gigantic Norway Maple dominating her back yard. The maple, 20 meters tall, completely shaded the yard from the hot July sun, providing a welcome cool respite for our inventory team. The resident who had moved into the area 40 years ago now says she spends 60% of her time under its leafy canopy.
We spent a few minutes chatting about the tree – how it gets trimmed every once and a while, and how it dumps dozens of bags worth of leaves each fall. The Norway Maple seemed to be a valued presence in her daily life.
Along our inventories we often talk to other community members about their trees, with most people being enthusiastic about the topic and at the idea of acquiring more trees in their neighborhood. One man, when talking about a tree that was suffering from fungus, said that perhaps it needs a hug and prayer for its recovery. This form of connectedness and love towards nature was nice to see.
Over time, we’ve gotten the sense that trees help bring people together. They spark conversation about personal stories and the desire to improve urban areas. We look forward to continuing our Tuesday-Thursday inventories and learning more about people and their trees! And as always, everyone is welcome to join.