Monday, February 22, 2010

Prune Trees, Raise Canopy, Improve Sightlines, Bioswale Watch, Canada Geese

Still in the grip of winter, things are pretty quiet at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens here in Port Credit.

While we wait for the dog fence to fade and blend into the scenery, here are some pictures from the past year when garden staff pruned many of the large trees, raising the canopy and improving the sightlines throughout the Gardens.

Evergreens at BRG Pruned, Canopy Raised
Purists may indeed have a point when they state that lovely Copper Beech trees should be left to their natural growing habits (see pictures this post on Snapshot Travel).

Copper beech send out branches almost at ground level, a distinctive trait. But the selective pruning of a number of trees, including the beech, means that one can see through the gardens from the Waterfront Trail along Tecumseh Creek to the top of the hill by the main rhodo beds.

Pruned Maple Tree Near Rose Garden
Also getting their limbs trimmed were several maple trees, like this one to the west of the Rose Garden. Again, the raised canopy will make the roses more visible from a greater distance, but more importantly, the higher canopy will allow the sun-loving roses to get their fix of sunlight.

Pruned Branches Mulch Ready
All the pruning was done by one younger, strong garden staff chap, who used an extendable power saw pruner to do all the work in one day. Part of the reason he was able to prune so many trees in such a short time is that he could do all the work from the ground, without needing to use a ladder.

Bioswale in Winter - BRG East Garden
As well as these pruning pictures from late August, I took some new ones yesterday showing Canada Geese foraging and squabbling on the east side of Tecumseh Creek near the area where the bioswale was added late last fall.

Water still seems to be pooling above the bioswale, so some fine tuning may be called for this spring.

Canada Geese in East Garden at Bioswale
 It's unusual for Canada Geese to venture this far into the Gardens. Most often, they forage along the Lake Ontario waterfront. This day, I counted 15 geese in this area.

With Port Credit, known for its micro climate, experiencing an even milder winter interspersed with sharp cold spells, I am thankful we (volunteers and staff) took the time last fall to mulch the rhododendrons and azaleas throughout the Gardens.

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