Bloor Street Revitalization | ?m | ?s | Bloor-Yorkville BIA | architectsAlliance

renvel

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Dead trees

I don't really buy that the problem was a harsh winter. Montreal has great street trees (Chicago too!) and they seem to do just fine.
I drove down Spadina recently from the Gardiner and half the street trees in front of those Concord buildings are dead. Looks terrible! Do they ever get replaced?
The trees along Bloor should be placed in raised planters to avoid the winter salt. That would certainly help.
Toronto needs a comprehensive street tree plan. We really lack in that department.

That is correct. I noticet those dead trees in front of Concord buildings year or two ago. What a shame , that they have not been replaced !

There is nothing more attractive , than a healthy tree ...and nothing more depressing , than the dead one...
 

maestro

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I don't think the fact Montreal winters are a whole lot colder makes them harsher for trees. I think the solution to the product off lake effect storms is far harsher.

Glycol heating systems for parking ramps are ridiculously expensive. I can't imagine the costs for a project the size of Bloor; hell of a lot more than snow removal and any litigation resulting from falls. Norway is the richest country in the world. Oslo may have geo thermal activity too. Always fun when someone reads something another city has or is doing and thinks it should be implemented here. In an ideal world...
 

dt_toronto_geek

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The Fort York Visitor Centre uses Corten as well.

AoD

The Barbara Hall Park reno. used them as well, two of which have already collapsed (?) and now have caution cones on them.
 

thecharioteer

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Not sure if anyone has addressed the issue that perhaps the problem is that the street was designed by an architect, not a landscape architect, who I assume chose the tree species for aesthetic reasons. Quite a contrast to see how well the trees are doing at 18 Yorkville, both in the planters on Yonge and within Townhall Square (designed by Janet Rosenberg). The gingkoes in the square already had a precedent of success on University Avenue (in the median south of Richmond). Not native to Canada, but to China. Do we care if it looks great and does well? I share the frustration of the other posts. What a colossal waste of money to try and reinvent the wheel in this way. It's ironic to look at the size and vitality of some of the lindens growing out of planters on University north of Queen, yet this species was never considered? Perhaps if Peter Clewes had gone to Berlin instead of London, we would have our own Unter den Linden?
 

JasonParis

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The Fort York Visitor Centre uses Corten as well.
AoD
As does this...
878762-Large.jpg
 

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Tuscani01

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That is correct. I noticet those dead trees in front of Concord buildings year or two ago. What a shame , that they have not been replaced !

There is nothing more attractive , than a healthy tree ...and nothing more depressing , than the dead one...

They are constantly being replaced, and constantly dying. The city needs a better solution for those trees, as it has become an endless cycle of replanting them only for them to die.
 

junctionist

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The recent stretch of the Martin Goodman Trail along Lake Shore at Ontario Place looked fantastic lined with trees, but now many of the trees are either dead or dying. Waterfront Toronto will have to look into that. They did great work elsewhere. Sugar Beach has the best urban trees in the city.
 

Northern Light

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I don't get it. Is it rocket science??

Rocket Science? Absolutely Not!

However...........there are a number of issues.

Here's one overview that covers some....its more aimed at homeowners, but the gist applies to all transplanted trees.

http://www.isaontario.com/content/tree-planting-tips-myths

My take:

First, you have to correctly understand the conditions into which you need to plant your tree; and pick the species accordingly.

Its not merely sun/shade/or mixed; its dry/moist/wet/, its windy, its poorly drained vs well drained; its high-nutrient vs low; its how much pollution and/or salt and/or dog urine a tree may be subject to. Ever seen new Cedar trees turn black? (dog urine) kills them.

****

So now you've got your conditions down; you have to pick a tree that fits the conditions and/or amend the conditions, where possible. (unlikely you can change the climate or sun levels, but you can 'amend' soil to sustain different vegetation..........however, you may need to 'sustain' the amendment, depending on the conditions'

No amount of care will make a tree that doesn't belong in 'climate x' thrive.........it may sustain it for a time..........but you won't win a war w/nature on the tree's behalf.

****

Now you need to know that trees are best planted when dormant....that means no leaves or growth occurring; its a lower-stress time for planting. Its not impossible to plant mid-summer; however, it is harder on the tree, and your survival rate will decline; and your work-effort to sustain it will be higher.

Dormancy is essentially when most of the leaves have fallen off..........until prior to leafing-out in mid-spring. So, in Ontario, mid-October to early May. The shoulders of that aren't too bad either (the balance of May, and October).....much more into summer and challenges arise.

****

From there you need to know most transplanted trees when young are aimed to have a 70% survival rate; if properly planted, in the right season, its closer to 80% (as measure over 3 years from the date of planting)

However, the larger the tree, the lower the survival rate..........you have to realize that a big tree, needs big roots.....typically as wide below ground as the widest branches.

But that makes it materially more difficult to fit into planters/pits or all but the largest of holes, so the roots tend to be substantially trimmed before transplant. This cuts your survival rate to under 60%

****

Finally, you need to plan your planting (when done on a large scale), to account for genetic diversity. This is not merely an academic exercise. If all trees chosen are in the same genus/family they are likely vulnerable to the same diseases and pests. Hence the city is losing over 90% of its Ash trees due to Emerald Ash Borer. Choosing all one species means that if a disease or pest arrives, you could lose 100% of your trees! Its just no way to plan a planting.


Soooo, not rocket science............but a few things to consider to get it right.


What Yorkville did wrong..............poor species choice; only one species chosen; previous plantings (not the last round) occurred in fall, before dormancy; a less than optimal
choice.

Its my understanding that AA chose the tree species............they should bow their heads in shame.
 
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dt_toronto_geek

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Corten doesn't have any sort of strength problems; the oxidization is cosmetic and is simply a coating on the outside of the steel.

The caution pylons are gone and one was replaced when they were repairing benches a few days ago, but another is still broken and is a trip hazard. I'll get a photo in a day or two. Strange.
 

gabe

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I'd rather see the ugly rusty steel grates covered up by some kind of planter box. The plants around the base of the tree would hide the plug and electric cords and any garbage people throw down there.


Chicago's Magnificent Mile.


Chicago-The-Magnificent-Mile.jpg
 

buildup

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re: Tree Species
An interesting experiment exists S/W corner of Bay & Charles at 55 Charles West. Someone planted about 10 different species of trees in concrete boxes about 3 years ago, under identical conditions. The English Plain isn't looking as good after last winter.
 

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