October 22, 2016
I am writing in response to Tony DiGiovanni’s article, “Right plant, right place,” in the July-August issue of Landscape Ontario magazine.

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 the article. A recent Globe and Mail section, “When a Tree Falls” (10/6/16) was most enlightening. Arborist Todd Irvine stated that to let Norway maples 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 the trees’ invasive nature, the city has stopped planting Norways, as have both Hamilton and London.

In 2015, Norway maples became regulated in New York State and now every Norway maple sold must be labelled with the statement “This is an INVASIVE SPECIES harmful to the Environment.”

Forest Ontario is a proponent of the use of seed zone-appropriate native trees. It is a concept firmly based on more than 40 years of science, both at the university and field levels.

The Forest Gene Conservation Authority (fgca.net) states: “The concept of biological appropriateness recognizes that plants are genetically programmed to grow in sync with environmental cues in the location from which they originated.”

The current trend towards native species should be recognized as an indicator of the changing demand for trees. Urban planners and arborists are sending signals to the nursery industry, specifying an increased need for native species.

Tony stated that sugar maples are invasive. Give me a break. NOT SO!

Ken Jewett
Founder, Maple Leaves Forever