TREE CANOPY INITIATIVE
The Junction Residents Association has developed a neighbourhood-wide strategy to help support and increase the tree canopy in our community. Our efforts include:
supporting street trees along Dundas by collaborating with the Junction Adopt A Street Tree (JAAST) initiative
public outreach and education on how to care for trees on their property or to adopt a street tree in their neighbourhood
efforts to increase the tree canopy in our neighbourhood
implement and support a community-wide tree audit, with the goal of protecting trees in our public spaces
A HEALTH TREE CANOPY MAKES FOR A HEALTHY COMMUNITY!
WHAT IS THE JUNCTION ADOPT-A-STREET-TREE (JAAST) PROGRAM?
The JAAST program is part of Toronto’s Adopt-a-Street-Tree program, a volunteer tree care program. Toronto’s trees are hugely critical in mitigating the negative impacts of climate change. Numbering 11.5 million, they store 1.1 million tonnes of carbon, soak up more than 330,000 cubic metres of stormwater runoff, and remove 972 tonnes of air pollution each year. Trees located along commercial streets are some of the most vulnerable trees in our city. They are often planted in small, shallow plots surrounded by concrete, and exposed to litter including cigarette butts and animal waste. Volunteer “Tree Teams”, consisting of local Junction residents and store owners serve as tree caregivers to improve the health of street trees and enhance the beauty of the neighbourhood. These volunteer teams engage in basic stewardship activities such as watering, mulching, and weeding. Through JAAST, the JRA supports the City of Toronto in its plan to sustain and expand the urban tree canopy from the current 28% to 40% by 2050*.
WHY CARE FOR THE JUNCTION’S COMMERCIAL STREET TREES?
Healthy trees sustain beauty and nature in the Junction, in addition to the many environmental, economic and health benefits. Commercial street trees are important neighbourhood assets, but face challenging growing conditions that can limit their long-term health and survival.
Key stressors affecting street tree growth include:
• drought due to the limited availability of soil and water for various reasons including increasingly dry summers
• compacted soils from garbage bins and foot traffic
• physical damage from things like bicycle locks, heavy garbage bins, snow clearing and lawn mowers
• dog urine
• damage from road and sidewalk de-icing salt
Regular care, such as watering and mulching, can significantly improve the Junction’s street tree’s capacity to thrive and provide benefits.