All that remains is the trunk of the largest tree in Montreal’s Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie district, which was pruned due to its state of decay, which posed a risk to citizen safety.
The imposing poplar towered several meters above the other trees in Léon Provancher Park near the Montreal Botanical Gardens.
Measuring 192 centimeters in diameter, it took four people to surround it. It has been enthroned in the park since at least 1958, according to archive photos, the municipality said by email.
The canopy dieback accelerated to a point where a single pruning was no longer sufficient to ensure the safety of citizens visiting the park, the email explains.
“A large cavity inside the tree reduces the trunk’s ability to withstand the tensile and torsional forces created in its foliage by the influence of the wind,” we add.
Photo Louis Dominique Lamarche
The poplar towered over all the other trees in the park.
tree of Life
However, the community did not carry out the full slaughter. Instead, the poplar was transformed into a “tree of life”, which means that the trunk remains rooted in the ground.
“Leave in place, [les arbres de vie] represent a habitat for several species of animals. They are used as shelters, nesting sites, lookout points, singing places, nursing places and as pantries. Each wildlife species selects deadwood based on its needs,” the district also emphasizes in the email.
Other arborvitae have been preserved in the parks of Lafond, Beaubien, Étienne-Desmarteau and Maisonneuve.
Affected by climate change
The poplar in Parc Léon-Provancher was the largest tree in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, closely followed by very large mature trees in Parc Maisonneuve, according to the municipality.
It must be said that the cottonwood is among the tallest trees in the Montreal region along with the white pine.
Photo Louis Dominique Lamarche
With a diameter of almost 2 meters, it takes four people to surround it.
It takes 50 to 70 years to mature when it can reach more than 35 meters in height, explains Marc Grégoire, consultant in urban forestry for almost thirty years.
The arborist expert points out that climate change has made life difficult for these majestic trees, which can be found in Montreal but also in other communities in southern Quebec, over the past two or three years.
“There are many droughts and poplars like water,” he explains.
If the tree dies, he thinks there are good reasons to cut it down. “In decline, it becomes a potential hazard. Poplar wood degrades. There is a risk that it will fall. The taller the tree, the more dangerous it is,” he says.
➤ The poplar in Léon Provancher Park
192 centimeters in diameter (diameter of the largest poplar on Mount Royal: 205 cm)
At least 64 years old
➤ Eastern Poplar
Average lifespan: 75 years
Average height: 20 to 25 meters
The name “Deltoid” (triangle) comes from the triangular shape of the leaves
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