In the August 2016 issue of Landscape Ontario’s trade magazine, LO’s Executive Director Tony DiGiovanni wrote an article “Right plant, right place” that called for municipal arborists, landscape architects and others who specify street trees to reexamine “native only” and seed zone restriction policies. In his view, these ideas are causing failed landscapes, serious damage to the environment and reducing bio-diversity. It is also time to evaluate rules that restrict the use of so called invasive trees such as Norway maple. “We should plant more Norway Maples on highways and in cities where Sugar maples struggle… Sugar maples are invasive too.”
The full article is below:
Maple Leaves Forever Founder Ken Jewett wrote the following response, which was printed in the October 2016 issue:
After considering the content of this Article and the message it conveys to the broader landscape industry, I ask, “Is the author qualified to make the sweeping statements on seed zones, the use of native trees and the planting of Norway maples”? I am not qualified, so in my response, I have reached out to more knowledgeable tree people.
Overwhelmingly, the responses received were in disagreement with this article.
A recent Globe and Mail section (10/6/16) “When a Tree Falls” was most enlightening. Todd Irvine, an arborist, stated, “To let Norway Maple go in and kill our forests is devastating”.
Jason Doyle, Toronto’s Director of Urban Forestry states, “Native species often possess the hardiness required to endure the urban environment. The Norway maple is the most common tree in Toronto. Because of this tree’s invasive nature, the city has stopped planting Norway maples”. So is the case with Hamilton and London.
In 2015, Norway maples became regulated in New York state and now every Norway Maple tree sold in the state of New York must be labeled with the statement: “This is an INVASIVE SPECIES – Harmful to the Environment”.
Forests Ontario is a proponent of the use of seed zone appropriate native species. This is a concept firmly based on more than forty years of science, both at the university and field level.
The Forest Gene Conservation Association states – The concept of biological appropriateness recognizes that plants are genetically programmed to grow in sync with cues from the location from which they originated.
The current trend towards planting Native Species should be recognizes as an indicator of the changing demand for trees. Urban planners, architects and arborists are sending signals to the nursery industry, specifying an increased demand for native species.
Tony’s Statement, “Sugar Maples are invasive” – Give me a break. NOT SO!
Founder Maple Leaves Forever
August 17, 2016
Maple Leaves Forever received letters supporting Ken’s position on Tony’s article.
Below is Tony’s response to Ken ‘s letter, printed in the November 2016 issue of LO magazine.
Ken called Tony and thanked him for replying to his letter.
“Tony DiGiovanni’s response was thoughtful and respectful. Thank You, Tony”
– Ken Jewett, Founder, Maple Leaves Forever.