Photo of the Month: The Survivor

I came across this photo through our facebook page by Sharon Helleman. It was a mature elm, right around the corner from our office at the Artscape Wychwood Barns. I’ve passed this tree many times – near the top of a lost river – Garrison Creek (soon to be the home of Canada’s first Homegrown National Park). I liked the way Sharon caught an angle that shows its towering beauty…and how she shared some of the history of our nation through its story.


“This past week I explored some of the upper portions of Garrison creek. I started my wandering just north of St. Clair, walking up Humewood Drive. I had heard rumors of a large, ancient Elm tree, just north of St. Clair.  As soon as I was a few metres onto Humewood Drive, I could see this mammoth beauty.


Recognized as a heritage tree by Trees Ontario, this 200 year old Elm sits on the previous parkland of the Blake estate. William Hume Blake (1809-1872), the first professor of common and civil law at King's College, was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1848, and served as Solicitor-General for Upper Canada.  His son, the Honourable Edward Blake (1833-1912) was the second Premier of Ontario from 1871-1872, and  served as federal Liberal leader from 1880-1887.


Humewood tree


As a survivor of Dutch Elm disease, Humewood's Elm is a rare treat in Toronto, where 80% of our Elm population has been wiped out due to the disease. At over 27 metres (89 feet), this Elm towers above most of the trees in the area.”


To be fair, Sharon did take the shot back in February, but with the weather as it is now – and because we liked it so much – we made it the Photo of the Month for March. You can find out more about Sharon on her own facebook page. And you can see the original post here, complete with more photos of this magnificent elm.


Both Andrea Bake (LEAF's Field Operations Supervisor) and Jessica Piskorowski (LEAF's Stewardship & Volunteer Coordinator) are designated Certified Heritage Tree Evaluators with Tree Canada - they, and the three other Evaluators in the GTA, go and check out the trees that are nominated across Toronto. 


Do you have a magnificent tree in your neighbourhood you think deserves to obtain heritage status? Do some reserach and apply! Heritage tree designation is a great way to share the history of certain individual trees with a much wider (and appreciative) audience. These historic giants deserve a little recognition, don't you think?