This is one of our oldest ravine restoration projects in Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood. At the beginning of December 1997, the forest was dominated by Norway Maples growing on heavy clay soils with very little ground cover vegetation. Trees to be cut are marked with blue marks and the pink flags are spots for shrub plantings. The trail and the bridge over the little gully haven’t been built yet.

After thinning the forest and removing the Norway Maples, we planted a variety of small trees, shrubs, ferns and various other ground covers throughout 1998-2000. After all the thinning work and subsequent planting, here is the view in December 2004. Compare with the first photo.

Here it is in December 2006.

And again in December 2008.

Here it is again in March 2011. Each year the plants get larger and fill the space that was once occupied by the Norway Maples. Trees in open canopy areas grow faster than those in shade, so regrowth varies across the site, creating a forest of mixed-sized plants.

See below for a picture of the neighbouring property for comparison.

The left of the picture is what our clients property looked like in summer before we began work. The trees are all Norway Maples, there is no ground cover in places. The green ground cover that you can see further up the hill is all Garlic Mustard and other weedy species. It hasn’t changed in years.  The right side of the fence is our clients’ property – a natural forest ground cover with no Garlic Mustard or other weedy non-native species.

Here is the same view as before in December 2020.