“Significant, even disastrous consequences for the ecology” of Montreal

&laquo ;Significant, even disastrous consequences for the ecology» of Montreal

A branch blocks a street in Montreal.

Even if the decor, embellished by frosty trees, took on an enchanting look for the time of a few photos, the consequences of the ice storm weigh heavily on the trees.

“The accumulation of ice is significant. The trees have suffered a lot and will suffer,” warns the head of the scientific research and development division of the Montreal Botanical Garden, Michel Labrecque.

The researcher is particularly concerned about the impact of the numerous fractures of branches on tree health caused by yesterday's heavy freezing rain.

“It's not as if we had come to cut a branch with a saw, which makes a very straight wound and which heals well. In this case, these are tears that will not necessarily heal well. The branch will need to be properly pruned. Sometimes you even have to cut down trees because they are dangerous and their architecture is destabilized.”

Another “annoying” aspect raised by Michel Labrecque is the disruption of the reproductive system of trees and the threat to the survival of surrounding plants that this entails. “At this time of year, the trees are budding. Branch tips that break off affect flower and seed production. It can also harm the survival of shade plants by creating patches of sun.

The ice storm will certainly have significant, even disastrous consequences for the ecology. The breaking and pruning of branches inflict wounds on trees. These are real gateways for harmful organisms, at a time of year when the tree is vulnerable.

“In the spring, the trees come back to life and the sap rises. Their pruning will cause a lot of casting, which can attract more bacteria, fungi, parasites and molds, explains Michel Labrecque. It’s the worst time of year to inflict snapping on trees. You can prune trees in the summer, in the fall or in the winter, but you do not prune in the spring,” he concludes.

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