City trees hit hard by ice storm

Ice storm damage in Guelph's Riverside Park

Guelph, Ontario, where I live, takes a lot of pride in its green space. Riverside Park has always been one of the prettiest spots in the city, with a certain Old World charm. It took a hard hit from the ice storm Friday morning.

This section of the park is dominated by mature silver maples. They were undoubtedly planted because they are a fast-growing tree. In hindsight, the city should have planted trees with stronger wood. This park is impacted whenever severe weather hits the city, but this is the worst seen in a while.

Ideal or not, I loved those trees. They reminded me of the two silver maples in our yard where I grew up. Their arching branches raised a dense green canopy, creating a cool gallery through which to stroll by the Speed River on summer days. The place will never be the same.

Nature works that way. We try our best to preserve some things the way they were, but succession is a natural process. Even in the city, all these silver maples will eventually be replaced with trees better suited to urban parks.


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