GUFF has just finished the third Great Tree Hunt with the previous ones being in 1991 and 2008. We asked a number of homeowners to update their submissions from the past and checked many of the trees ourselves. The Awards are given to trees, either public or private, that were submitted by citizens.
Most Characteristic of Species-Oak: a backyard boundary tree at 69 Dean Ave that towers over the neighbourhood and was also responsible for ensuring building next door was done sensitively. Owner- Jaydee Smith
Most Characteristic of Species-Elm: a public tree that is at 79 Bagot Street right at the corner of London. You can’t miss it with its classic vase shape and tremendous height. Submitted by Adam King
We have 3 Heritage Tree Awards presented by Christopher Campbell a landscape architect with a special interest in Heritage Design
Heritage Tree-Bur Oak: 59 Martin St Cathy Downer’s wonderful tree. (Read her submission
Heritage Tree- Sugar Maple: 16 Harcourt Dr. Simon Wildeboer- ( This tree was around when Summerhill was the estate encompassing this whole area. The estate home is now numbered 25 Harcourt Drive and was occupied by such illustrious families as the Sutherlands and the Neeves. This tree may have marked a laneway or been along the edge of a field)
Heritage Tree-Silver Maple: 795 York Rd- Yorklands Green Hub future property- submitted by Norah Chaloner (Read her submission)
We have three awards based on size- The Smallest and Biggest Beloved Trees and the Biggest of Species
The Smallest Beloved Tree goes to a Japanese Maple with a dbh of 10 cm at 1 Thomasfield Drive. The applicants from the McElderry residents Community call it the “Little Tree that Could” and it was dug up by hand (an all day operation!) by a group of residents to protect it from being cut to permit an apartment building on the corner of Edinburgh and Kortright. It had brought great delight to the parishioners of St Mattias Church which was demolished and now continues to charm at its new location
The Biggest Beloved Tree goes to a Silver Maple in Marksam Park along the walkway in from Westwood Dr. It is the only tree that got 2 separate nominations! It is among the biggest silver maples in Guelph and is beloved by the youth of the neighbourhood who hide in it during games after school and students at Westwood Public School who use it as a gathering point.
Largest Public tree of Species-The Austrian Pine, a city tree is on the front lawn of 8 Yeadon and was nominated by the resident Richard Julian. In the city Database its 100 cm DBH qualifies it as the biggest Austrian Pine in the city for a public tree.
We have two awards that are connected to the life of the tree in its owners eyes: Best Tree Story and Best Habitat Tree.
A Catalpa Tree at 29 Hastings is the winner of Best Habitat Tree. Catalpa flowers with their nectar are a great draw to all kinds of pollinators including hummingbirds, bees, wasps, moths and this homeowner reports her tree has also had nests for robins and doves and draws squirrels and chipmunks.
Best Tree Story goes to a Corkscrew Willow on Kathleen St whose owner, Janice Holley, bought the house for the tree! They have nurtured this tree through sickness and health to an old age of 49 years. The story is worth reading!
GUFF wants to make note of 2 collections of trees submitted that aren’t receiving awards but are worthy of being honoured by the public. The Schoolyard Grove of maples at John McCrae PS on Water St are unique on a schoolyard in the city and beloved by the students. The “Trees of Niska trail” submitted by Joel Barr are some of the biggest silver maples and bur oaks in the city and worth a hike along the Speed River Trail on the north side of the Speed River between Niska Road and Wellington 124.
The Henry Kock Award
Our new and most honorific award is the Henry Kock Award given to “A noble tree, cherished by the community for its heritage value and as a fine example of its species” Henry Kock was a tree champion here in Guelph and around the province. He is the creator of the “Elm Recovery Project” here at the Arboretum and all tree lovers were saddened by his untimely death 10? years ago. The winner of this award is the Elm at 63 Alice St nominated by Mike Darmon. This tree is a boundary tree shared by the city and the residents of this address and beloved by all the citizens of Guelph who see it. A recent picture on a bike trip put on by GCAT-“ trees, bikes and a pint”- attests to this. If you haven’t seen this magnificent elm you must!