( Tsuga canadensis) Neighbourhood: Bayview Village, North York
Ravine/Park: Villaways Park, along the Don River
Height: 22 m (72 feet); diameter: 64 cm (2 feet, 2 inches)
It sounds like the plot of a horror movie: An entire species under imminent threat of continental elimination from a fasttravelling invasive insect that attacks and kills its host. But this is what is happening in the United States, where the hemlock woolly adelgid, an aphid-like insect, is slowly killing great swaths of eastern hemlocks. Though the insect has not yet taken hold in Eastern Canada — federal agencies are closely monitoring for infestations — Davies says we should be admiring eastern hemlocks before they are gone. This particular eastern hemlock is an impressive 22 m tall — about five times the height of a typical transport truck. Without taking a core from the tree trunk, Davies can’t definitively say the age of this tree — or any of the 47 eastern hemlocks in his ravine study. But eastern hemlocks, one of just three native conifers in the Toronto area, can be very old without being very big; some in Ontario, including several in the Niagara Gorge, are believed to be more than 400 years old.
This eastern hemlock is an impressive 22 m tall — about five times the height of a typical transport truck.