Forest Protection at RBG
The Nature Sanctuaries at Royal Botanical Gardens are home too 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of forest ecosystem with over 70 species of trees.
Forest areas represent about one third of the property and are focused to the many ravines that lead to the coastal marshes. Much of this is old growth Carolinian forest and as such consists off very large trees, particularly Red and White Oak with a rich diversity of rare species in the understory. In total 65 tree species are native with numerous others planted. The most common species are Red Oak, Black Cherry, and Red Maple. The oldest trees found are white cedars found along the escarpment face at Rock Chapel.
Threats and Projects
A long history of adjacent land use changes, air and water pollution, and introduced diseases are causing a gradual decline in forest health. The biggest threat to the forest ecosystem currently is Eurasian invasive plant species. Ongoing projects to remove invasive plants are focused in the old growth ravines of the Special Protection Areas and volunteer events occur multiple times per year. Other threats to the forest include slope failures due to unstable creek flows, a result of impervious surface urban runoff further worsened by intense rainstorms of climate change, and an unbalanced food web due to a lack of amphibians (impaired wetlands), introduced earthworms, and unbalanced wildlife populations.
The cultivated gardens and nature sanctuaries of Royal Botanical Gardens are home to over 20 individuals classified as “heritage trees.”
As a National Historic Site the Garden’s properties protect many remarkable trees. The nature sanctuaries contain 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of forest, while the horticultural areas have nearly 4000 specimens.
Churchill Park Renovation Project
On the south side of Cootes Paradise a significant project to improve forest health is underway at Churchill Park, including planting new native trees to enhance the forest edge and to provide shade in the future.
Support Conservation at RBG
These conservation projects are possible thanks to the generous support of RBG Members and donors. With a donation to Growing up Green, you can ensure an active, vibrant and healthy future for the children of today and tomorrow through our horticultural and conservation projects.
Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is the largest botanical garden in Canada, a National Historic Site, and registered charitable organization with a mandate to bring together people, plants and nature.