Latest Event Updates

TreeKeepers Update #13

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Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Tree inventory workshops


Pollinator workshops

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Coming up next is a mulching event on the eventing of Tuesday, August 30th at River Oaks Community Church. For more info click here.

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An Oakville garden, and the landscaper who designed it, have been given special recognition by the prestigious Perennial Plant Association (PPA).

Sean James of Fern Ridge Landscaping was on-hand in Minneapolis for the annual PPA symposium to receive an Honour Award in the landscaping category. Only five of these awards were provided for all of North America in 2016 by the PPA, highlighting the increasing importance of biodiversity focused gardening throughout the continent as well as the exceptional work produced by Sean James and his team.

PPA award photo

The Anderson Parkette Biodiversity Garden – ‘A Garden for Life’ – was spearheaded by Kathy Kavassalis, co-president of the Oakville Horticultural Society, with help from the Town of Oakville and guidance from Conservation Halton. Why did so many work together to create this garden? In the words of Mrs. Kavassalis own words, “In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly challenged the world to take action to protect the great variety of life on our planet by safeguarding regional species diversity.”

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According to Mrs. Kavassalis, “The garden now contains over 50 plant species native to North America. In the spring, painted lady butterflies flock to the Pearly Everlasting to lay their eggs and hummingbirds seek the delicate red Columbines for their precious spring nectar (so important after their long journey across the lake). Rabbits start trimming the Blazing Star as it emerges, making the plants grow bushy and improving their stunning summer display of blooms. From our eastern bumblebee to the iridescent sweat bees and jewel-like syrphid flies, pollinators abound throughout the summer season. In the fall, Goldfinches can be seen dangling from coneflowers as Monarchs float from flower to flower preparing for their journey south. When winter comes, signs of mice and deer finding refuge can be seen. Bundled children sit on the bench and enjoy the beauty of grasses glazed with ice swaying in the chilly breeze. It is truly an oasis for life here in Oakville.”

Mr. James designed the garden, entirely of native plants, to attract as many different species of life as possible, focusing on pollinators and other insects as well as birds. He believes that any garden designed to provide a solution, such as a biodiversity garden, rain garden, edible garden or habitat garden shouldn’t look like a solution, but rather be as beautiful as any other type of garden, if not more so because of the different palette of plants that can be drawn from. Apparently the public and the PPA agree!

TreeKeepers Update #12

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A tough life for trees this summer

Drought! This summer has been particularly hot and dry so make sure trees on your property and in your neighbourhood are getting enough to drink!

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Mechanical damage from lawn maintenance harms young trees and can leave scars. To learn more about how mediate the impacts of mechanical damage to trees come out to our public mulching event at River Oaks Community Church. Mulching may be not be the most glamorous form of stewardship but it can make a BIG difference to these trees that have been damaged by lawn mowers. To RSVP email

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Invasive species appear to be doing well everywhere! They tend to out-compete our native plants, making the lives of our native plants all the more difficult. The photos below, from left to right, show garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, and buckthorn – 3 of the top invasive plants in Oakville. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is another invasive species. It has been killing ash trees throughout souther Ontario for a number of years.

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Some folks like to dump yard waste into Oakville’s greenspaces. Instead, try composting yard waste and chipping branches and tree limbs to use as mulch.

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SOS Please Water Your Trees!

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Dear neighbours,

With the hot summer weather, our local trees are struggling. As LEAF explains, the small amount of rain we do get runs off paved surfaces and into storm sewers, barely reaching the trees that desperately need it. This drought stress leaves trees vulnerable to pests and disease. You can help protect Oakville’s tree canopy by checking soils and ensuring trees on your property are watered.

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Trees are sending out an SOS! Curling leaves of a Hackberry in Oakville.

The Town is responsible for watering Town trees on public streets, but the extreme heat conditions have stretched resources. Local BIAs and residents’ groups and individuals could step in to help, volunteering to water Town trees.

If you can, pitch in by watering Town trees near your home or local park. It only takes #3Buckets!

Newly planted trees should be watered two or three times per week. For the first two years after planting, trees should be watered approximately twice a week. Place a hose (without nozzle) at the base of your tree on a very slow trickle for approximately 15 minutes (or give 3 to 4 buckets). In the third year, once your tree has established a deeper and wider root system, change the watering frequency to one hour, once per week (to give your tree periodic, deeper soakings). The best way to do this is to place a soaker hose (which slowly oozes water from the length of the hose) on the ground in a spiral out to the edge of the tree’s canopy.

Together, we can protect our trees and enjoy their many benefits for years to come.
Find out more about tree care on LEAF’s website, or the Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation website.

Post a pic of you watering your tree with the tag #3buckets on Facebook or Twitter!