Charity hopes to re-green Atlantic Canada after Dorian rips out trees
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV's Molly Thomas
Published Monday, September 9, 2019 10:47PM EDT
With countless trees ripped from their roots after Dorian ravaged Atlantic Canada over the weekend, an Ottawa-based charity is hoping to help re-green the region.
Natural disasters have become a priority for Tree Canada under its “Operation ReLeaf” program, which planted trees in communities following the Fort McMurray wildfire, the 1998 ice storm in Eastern Canada and the catastrophic floods in Saguenay, Que. in 1996.
Now, Nova Scotia is on the organization’s radar. Dorian landed late Saturday night, blasting the Maritimes with 150 km/h winds, toppling power lines and even felling a construction crane in downtown Halifax.
Across Atlantic Canada, century-old trees were uprooted by hurricane-force gusts and tossed onto lawns and roadways.
Replacing the natural canopy isn’t just about the environment, said Mike Petryk, an arborist and program manager with Tree Canada. It’s also about restoring a sense of home.
“They perhaps weren’t even thinking of the tree at first, and then they start to realize … There’s the possibility of bringing back my whole home,” he said.
The Prosner family understands the difference a tree can make. They lost an evergreen on their property after a tornado ripped through their Ottawa-area neighbourhood last September.
“Honestly, you don’t miss a tree until it’s gone,” Glenn Prosner told CTV News.
As a replacement, Tree Canada supplied a lilac tree.
“It’s never going to replace the tree we lost, but 50 years from now, my kids will get to see it, my grandchildren, hopefully,” Prosner said.
Tree Canada has planted more than 80 million trees since it started operations in 1992.