Torontonians are trying to raise money to save the city's oldest tree
A group of Toronto residents is trying desperately to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to save a tree that is older than the country of Canada itself.
By December of this year, $430,000 needs to be raised in order for the city to salvage the red oak, which is at least 250 years old — some predict closer to 370.
So glad to have Mark on board with our great red oak project....https://t.co/nV5DEp6xtE— Trevor Comer (@TC_Chainsaw) January 2, 2020
The basement of the house on the property at 76 Coral Gable Dr., near Weston Rd. and Sheppard Ave., poses a threat to the health and growth of the tree's root system.
Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign Chairman Mark Cullen told Ben Mulroney on CTV News' Your Morning today that Mayor John Tory is in favour of purchasing the home so that it can be removed and the soil remediated to "create an environment that will allow this tree to live for another couple of hundred years."
1/2 What an event to raise awareness of our #heritagetrees! Along with Janet McKay of @leaf and others, I had fun judging an #artcontest organized by @torontolibrary and @EdithGeorgeOAK at the Heritage Red Oak Event. Go check out the inspiring artwork at Woodview Park Library! pic.twitter.com/BdmDJmtI2G— Janani Sivarajah (@JananiSivarajah) September 14, 2019
City council did vote to take steps toward acquiring the property to save the tree in 2018 due to its size and "cultural significance," but the plans were abandoned early last year after city staff and the property owner were unable to come to an agreement on the sale.
The tree has been recognized with a Heritage Toronto plaque, but not much else has come of the situation, though the city has asked the public to donate to the cause.
This beautiful heritage, red oak tree put down its roots in Toronto more than two and a half centuries ago! Help the #CityofTO preserve this majestic tree at https://t.co/zs0JAm2fxN. #DonateTO #heritagetree pic.twitter.com/NWPg6G7u3j— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) January 2, 2020
Cullen adds that Urban Forest Innovations, a local arboriculture company, has deemed the tree in good health and predict it could survive for decades to come — that is, in the right environment.
"The city can't afford to save every heritage tree," Cullen said in the interview this morning. "But when the citizens step to the plate... we suddenly have the city's attention."
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