Metcalfe Park Black Willow

Neil

by Neil Carleton

 Under an agreement with the Town of Mississippi Mills, the Mississippi River Power Corp. (MRPC) manages the Metcalfe Park property at the bottom of Bay Hill for the municipality. The sole shareholder of MRPC is the Town.  The municipality has appointed four directors and a representative of Council as a board to guide the company and make operational and financial decisions.

In July, MRPC asked Gardiner Tree Trimming & Removal of Arnprior to assess the dead trees between the Riverwalk extension and the driveway of the new generating station.  Judy Gardiner, an International Certified Arborist, was also asked to look around the parking area as an increasing number of large branches had been noticed after storms.

One at the black willows was identified with a structural problem of lateral cracking around the trunk.  Some time ago, a large limb near the base had been removed and this open wound had resulted in significant rot.

 

With a heavy lean, evident rot, and a structural challenge, it was recommended to MRPC that the tree be removed because it is  a safety hazard.
With a heavy lean, evident rot, and a structural challenge, it was recommended to MRPC that the tree be removed because it is a safety hazard.
Metcalfe Park Black Willow 9
Structural stress at the bend in the trunk had created significant lateral cracking.

 At the August 6 meeting of the Town’s Committee of the Whole, the arborist’s report was reviewed.  Following a discussion, the Committee recommended that Council approve the recommendations of Gardiner Tree Trimming & Removal to remove the tree. 

The big black willow came down on Thursday morning, August 29.  It measured 13.5 feet / 4.1 m in circumference at chest height before the work crew arrived at 8:00 a.m
The big black willow came down on Thursday morning, August 29. It measured 13.5 feet / 4.1 m in circumference at chest height before the work crew arrived at 8:00 a.m

Not long after 10:00 a.m., only 4 large trunk sections remained and were loaded on 2 trucks.  Everything else up to 22 inches / 0.56 m in diameter had been reduced to wood chips and blown into a box truck.

Not long after 10:00 a.m., only 4 large trunk sections remained and were loaded on 2 trucks. Everything else up to 22 inches / 0.56 m in diameter had been reduced to wood chips and blown into a box truck.
A surprise was waiting when the last trunk section was lifted off.  The removal years ago of a large limb near the base had created an open wound which rotted deep below the surface.
A surprise was waiting when the last trunk section was lifted off. The removal years ago of a large limb near the base had created an open wound which rotted deep below the surface.
To illustrate the depth and width of the cavity, Scott Newton, MRPC General Manager, posed for this unique shot.
To illustrate the depth and width of the cavity, Scott Newton, MRPC General Manager, posed for this unique shot.

A large rock was placed over the stump remains and hole before the site was open again to the public.

A large rock was placed over the stump remains and hole before the site was open again to the public.

Do you have a notable or favourite tree?  Readers are invited to submit their nominations for an honor roll of trees in our area that could be featured in future articles.  You can contact me at 613-256-2018, <ve3nce@gmail.com>, or Neil Carleton, 3 Argyle Street, P.O. Box 1644, Almonte, Ontario, K0A 1A0.  I look forward to hearing from you.

My volunteer columns started in March 2010, as print features, to support the tree planting and tree awareness initiatives of the Mississippi Mills Beautification Committee.  The contact for the Tree Working Group is Ron Ayling, 613-256-4617.  In Carleton Place, the contact for the Urban Forest / River Corridor Advisory Committee is Jim McCready, 613-257-5853.

 

Until the next column, you’ll find me looking for and hanging out with shady characters.