Sault Ste. Marie Canal
National Historic Site Of Canada - Tree Condition Assessment
n June 2004, IFS Associates was engaged by Parks Canada to undertake a comprehensive tree condition assessment of approximately 145 trees located over 3.62 hectares. The assessment was intended to identify all trees over the given area, photograph and gather baseline information for each tree, assess the health of the tree, identify any trees which pose a hazard to persons or property, provide maintenance recommendations and associated costs, and identify priorities for tree work, removals and replanting.
The findings of this report were intended to meet a number of objectives, including:
- Sustaining tree health, in particular, of the remaining Elm trees;
- Identifying and managing hazardous trees to ensure the safety of persons, property and historic monuments;
- Ensuring regeneration of new trees to maintain a treed landscape in the future;
- Maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the site, in particular given its designation as a National Historic Site; and
- Providing up-to-date information for park planning purposes.
In undertaking the comprehensive tree assessments, IFS Associates:
- Identified and tagged each tree using a numbering system corresponding to all previous reports and databases
- Digitally photographed each tree;
- Identified each tree by species and genus;
- Measured diameter at breast height using a diameter tape;
- Measured height using a Suunto;
- Estimated age using an increment borer and resistograph on a representative sample of trees;
- Using a Resistograph, obtained a core sample from trees to assess age, growth patterns and decay, if any;
- Assessed, in detail, the overall health of each tree including identifying those Elms at greater risk of contracting Dutch Elm Disease (Ophiostoma ulmi). When required, diagnosed disease or insect pests which appear to be affecting individual or groups of trees;
- Identified those trees which pose an immediate or future hazard to persons, property or monuments and provide recommendations to mitigate these risks;
- For all Elms, using a Dicky-John soil compaction tester, determined the depth at which soil compaction will restrict root growth;
- Taking into account the condition of each tree, described and provided recommendations for tree care, including for example pruning, cabling, fertilizing rod bracing, removal, etc.;
- Provided expense forecasts for tree care and planting; and
- Identified succession planning (i.e. planting) timelines.