356 Who's Protecting Ontario's Oldest Trees?

Dolf Wynia, a retired forester, was formerly the manager of St. Williams Nursery, the largest nursery providing native plants in the province. He recalls the ups and downs of Canada’s history of conservation. The indigenous people contributed largely by leaving nature alone, though they did use fire in order to clear land for farming. Because they lacked metal tools they could not fell large trees, but instead maintained a supply of smaller ones that could be shaped with stone tools. The white settlers were not so constrained, and destroyed larger forests. Still, many large old trees remain, even in Toronto. Eric Davies has mapped about 1,000 old trees in the city’s large ravines. It will be a huge challenge to plant two billion trees. Actually, many more than that must be planted, considering that up to 90 percent of all planted trees die within a year or two. Davies favors allowing forests to restore themselves naturally, but this will not increase the areas covered by canopy. There are already laws requiring land-owners to obtain permission before removing trees from their property. There are also laws limiting the import of trees from abroad, but these have not actually prevented the spread of diseases from invasive species. We have lost chestnuts, elms, and now are losing the ash trees in Ontario. The panelists have not seen strong evidence as to whether the new practice of planting trees by drones is effective. They believe, and hope, that it will be possible to use sufficient mass timber for constructing buildings without destroying old trees.


  • John Bacher
  • Eric Davies
  • Dolf Wynia



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“Juan Carlos Sesma sets out to change the world for the better with his new invention – 
Today he is the founder and CEO of the startup CO2 Revolution. He lives in Mélida, Spain.
He used the laws which require companies to reduce their carbon footprint to get the funding. 
And this podcast discusses the development of several new technologies to accelerate reforestation after forest fires in many countries. Biodegradable seed capsules, drone dispensers, etc

Episode 78: Reforestación inteligente (Smart Reforestation) – Duolingo   [ in Spanish and English ] practice listening in Spanish with help on the meaning in English interspersed .It is a Duolingo Spanish Podcast

Summarized in the New York Times October 31st 2021n – Can Seeds Planted by Drones Spawn New Forests? – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

by Rachel Chaudler, october 31, 2021, “A special report on Climate Solutions which looks at efforts around the world to make a difference”

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