Tree sale in Wychwood
The very first edition of the Wychwood Neighbourhood Tree Sale was a success. In total, 211 trees were ordered by the residents of the 650 houses in the district. “It’s quite exceptional; it’s a very high planting rate,” says Christiane Thérien, one of the seven members of the board of directors of the association “Les Amis de Wychwood”.
The association, managed by volunteers living in the same neighbourhood, took this initiative. It all started in 2016 with an awareness project for tree protection. Last year, forest specialists and a biologist mapped existing ones.
“We wanted to know where to plant native trees that would be good for Wychwood. For each batch, a biologist has identified if there is room for others, and if so, which ones,” says Ms Thérien.
In April, after knowing which species would be well included on their property, people ordered their trees from a nursery in Sherbrooke. The prices are between $5 and $22, or 30% to 45% of the cost price. Thanks to the City of Gatineau’s Green Fund and the City’s assistance, the association was able to subsidize the trees, resulting in a reduced price for buyers.
Wychwood is one of the residential neighbourhoods in Quebec that offers such a rarity of plant species. In addition to the 150-year-old heritage trees, there are about 60 white oaks that are almost extinct across Canada. “It is a red oak pine forest that contains white oaks that are on the verge of extinction. The biologist who came to do the mapping found this exceptional,” says Christiane.
“We are passionate about our neighbourhood and the protection of the vegetation cover,” says Board member Lucie Goulet. We are sensitive to environmental protection in general. We want people here to mobilize for this cause.”
In fact, the association is currently discussing with the City for a law that will further protect plants during construction and encourage more planting. “For the past four years, we have been working with the City to develop specific regulations to protect the trees in the neighbourhood,” says Ms Thérien. Right now, there is a pilot project in the Wychwood area.