Tag Archives: tree

City of Toronto Tree Pruning, Spring 2017

City of Toronto arborist and his chipper machine. They prune trees, then chip the downed branches. Toronto, Canada 2017, Don Tai

City of Toronto arborist and his chipper machine. They prune trees, then chip the downed branches. Toronto, Canada 2017, Don Tai

My neighbour’s tree dropped a large branch during a windstorm. A couple of days later the City of Toronto tree guys, called arborists, are here with their special truck and chipper to tidy things up.

Every spring the City of Toronto has their tree specialists, called arborists, that come around to inspect the city trees. These are trees that grow between the sidewalk and the street, called the boulevard. These trees are not owned by the homeowner. Any tree on the property of the homeowner is their responsibility.

Birch Tree in Autumn, Leaves Turning Yellow

My Birch tree has turned its leaves yellow already. We have had a couple of nights of near zero degree temperatures, signaling to the birch that it is time to go dormant. The cycle of life continues.

秋天桦树的叶子变成黄。

Birch Tree in Autumn, leaves turned yellow. Toronto, Canada 秋天桦树的叶子变成黄。

Birch Tree in Autumn, leaves turned yellow. Toronto, Canada

Mulberry Sorbet Recipe: Easy but Messy

Mulberries, we have in the backyard, compliments of our large black mulberry tree. With it comes the mulberry mess. Well, you either frown or you make the best of the situation. In this case: mulberry sorbet.

It started as a sproutlet at the side of our house. I was unsure if it was actually a mulberry as there were 3 or 4 different types of leaves growing from the same plant. I thought it was, so transplanted it to a sunny location and waited 4 years until it started fruiting. It has been going strong ever since.

2016 Crab Apple Tree and Blossoms, Toronto, Canada

This year, 2016, is a an excellent year for my crab apple tree. The blossoms are really pretty, and the weather has cooperated. They will stay fresh for only 5 days max, and then will die. For now we can enjoy them, as they splash their pink hue from outside into our house. The tree is male, so bears no apples.

2016 Crab Apple Tree, male, a couple of days before full bloom. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Don Tai

2016 Crab Apple Tree, male, a couple of days before full bloom. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Don Tai

2016 Crab Apple Tree bloom, a couple of days before full bloom.  Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo 1 by Don Tai

2016 Crab Apple Tree bloom, a couple of days before full bloom. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo 1 by Don Tai

Arboriculture, Chinese Style: Toronto, Canada

My neighbour’s large maple tree at the front of their house was growing threateningly close to the front second story window. Pruning of the limb was in order. As this limb was quite large there was a discussion about calling in a Canadian or Chinese arborist. The Canadian arborist would come in with a large cherry-picker style truck and crew, and complete the job safely. Of course they would be much more expensive. The Chinese crew they chose came in with a ladder, rope and a small electric chainsaw. At least they had some climbing equipment and safety harness.

Neighbour’s Tree Falls, Toronto, Canada

Trees are something I cannot live without. It was with great regret that I saw my neighbour’s maple tree downed, a huge branch ripped off and cast aside in their backyard. Such is life.

Apparently unbeknownst to us there was rot in the crotch of the limb, which became a stressor. With the recent windstorm this stressor proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. The crack was at the 12′ level, hidden from us puny humans. This downed limb was as thick as my waist and probably weighed in at about 1,000 lb. Overall this was just under half the tree.

The loss of this limb ripped half the circumference of the tree, severely weakening it. I am sure it will topple over sometime soon. It should be cut down.

We live in this area of Scarborough partially because of the plentiful canopy of trees. They are everywhere, providing shade, cleaning the air and habitat for birds and squirrels. They make the neighbourhood much more inviting.

Usually trees are quite strong, but they are also very resilient and will sway in heavy winds. Maybe we can all learn from this age old model. The tree that does not sway will break in stormy weather. Even the strongest will sway, something to keep in mind for the stiff upper lip crowd.

I have many trees in our backyard that I care for. With a minimum of pruning each year they reward me by growing stronger and taller, further beautifying our neighbourhood. One mulberry also gives us fruit, which tastes great. The birds feed on these as well. Our crabapple tree provides us with fresh blooms in the spring and shade in the summer. I simply prune it minimally each year, and it takes care of itself.

Maybe we all could learn more from trees.

My neighbours tree broke off a huge branch during a wind storm, Toronto, Canada

My neighbours tree broke off a huge branch during a wind storm, Toronto, Canada

Firewood and Chinese People in Toronto

Tree branches cut by a Mainland Chinese neighbour. These cannot easily fit into my fireplace. Toronto, Canada

Tree branches cut by a Mainland Chinese neighbour. These cannot easily fit into my fireplace. Toronto, Canada

Random events pummel our life on a regular basis. This is also true here in Toronto, Canada. My fireplace is used somewhat frequently during the colder months, so I am always on the hunt for firewood. We have many Mainland Chinese people here in Scarborough that throw out burnable wood, mostly from trees on their property. It is an odd experience to me to see cut up tree branches from these Chinese houses, as most of the wood is not able to easily fit in my fireplace. This is markedly different from firewood left curbside of Canadian houses. I postulate that those Mainland Chinese that migrate to Canada are intellectuals and university graduates, and that they have no experience in making a fire or preparing wood to be burned in a fireplace or stove. Canada only welcomes educated and affluent Mainland Chinese to our shores. Maybe wood cutting should also be part of the entry criteria.

Save a Tree in Toronto, Canada

This willow tree is majestic. Homeowners should appreciate the utility and beauty of trees.

This willow tree is majestic. Homeowners should appreciate the utility and beauty of trees.

Yes, you bought a house in Toronto, Canada and you are now master of your domain. This does not give you the right to do anything you want on your property. There are bylaws of the City of Toronto that all home owners need to follow, and if you disagree with them then maybe you should reconsider your purchase. Keep your yard clean and safe. Shovel the sidewalk in the winter. Cut your lawn. And don’t cut down all your trees. Yes, to cut down a tree over 30 cm in diameter or more as measured at 1.4 m above ground level, you need a city permit.

Calling All Bees to Toronto, Canada!

Tasty pollen available to all bee friends, from a white tulip

Tasty pollen available to all bee friends, from a white tulip

Spring is finally here. I invite all bees to visit my garden for a very tasty good time. There is so much colour in the garden, which washes into the house, giving some rooms a fantastic pink hue. All photos taken today at 14:45.

On the negative side so many people have come down with allergies. Noses and eyes are itchy. People are stuffed up. This is nature’s way of reproducing. Still, what would spring be without renewal, growth and an uplifting shot of colour.

Snow Day, 20cm accumulation

Gonggong's bicycle snowed in

Gonggong's bicycle snowed in


A whole lot of snow has fallen in Toronto, and I’ve been shoveling once last night and twice today. While the temperatures are -4C and the snow is fluffy, it looks like around 20cm, which builds up and becomes heavy. It is not cold outside.

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Crabapple tree in winter

The trees have snow but not ice.

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Icicles by security light

We have some icicles growing from various parts of the eavestrough that are melting, so there’s a constant drip, drip onto the snow outside. They will freeze solid tonight. The kids want them to eat, but they’re too high up and when you crack them off you don’t want to be underneath when they fall.