Mark Sherman's posts

Winter Walks and Tree Detectives

On a surprisingly mild day at the start of February, I had the pleasure of leading a snowshoe tree tour at Newmarket’s Winterfest. The walk was co-presented with York Region Forestry, who provided the snowshoes and a great crew of tree enthusiasts to join us. This was the first of two winter walks LEAF has planned for 2014.

Notes from the field: A tree grows in Markham

Each summer LEAF arborists head back to visit many of the yards that we have planted in since 1996. We asses their growth, form and relative health. This important step helps us track our success in building a stronger urban forest. It is not just about getting a tree in the ground, but getting the right tree in the right place. Here are some notes about a tree that is doing particularly well...

Trees and art in the city

As a tree enthusiast, most walks I take are spent with my head up in the canopy. I observe trees for their form, leaves, over all health, wildlife and the urban stresses they face. During the winter, my gaze shifts. I like the opportunity to examine the naked tree’s architecture and to practice my non-leaf based identification skills - relying on the more subtle tells of the twigs and bark. With the added challenge of winter identification, I have found myself taking more time to let my eyes wander. Recently I have been noticing some neat tree-connected art around our city.

A lawn transformed

I want to share a story with LEAF blog readers. It’s the story of how two relaxed keeners planted a native butterfly garden, repurposed downtown grown trees (cleared for development) into seating and planted the next generation of canopy at our local library. It’s the story of seizing the potential of a lawn and creating a shady outdoor reading room.

Artist Noel Harding; where art and nature intersect.

Noel Harding is a Canadian artist with a colourful career spanning over 30 years. You may recognize his large-scale pieces of public art as infrastructure, such as Windsor’s living bridges, Toronto’s free standing wetlands, and Mississauga’s trees planters growing three stories above city hall (represented Canada at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but never re-erected). His work examines the intersection of complex social, environmental and urban planning issues and during the Q and A, I asked him to define his form of functional social environmental design.