Some assembly required for IKEA tree donations
St. Catharines is 65 trees closer to replacing the thousands lost as a result of the emerald ash borer.
The beetle is a forest pest native to Asia that has killed millions of ash trees in southwestern Ontario and the Great Lakes states.
The city teamed up with staff from the local IKEA as well as a representative from Tree Canada to plant 65 white pines at Burgoyne Woods Thursday morning.
“This mass of planting is where we need to go as a community,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik while joining about 10 staff from the IKEA pick up and order store and city workers to plant the saplings in a little-used grass field at the park.
“We need to focus on not just matching what’s been lost, but also doubling it up. This allows us to start to catch up to the numbers of where we were pre-emerald ash borer.”
Sendzik said the city is spending “a lot of dollars on rebuilding our canopy.” The donated trees from IKEA “is an added bonus.”
Cathy Morris, who manages the local IKEA location, said the company has been involved in the program with Tree Canada since 1996, and has planted more than 30,000 trees across the country as a result.
The only assembly required for the IKEA trees was digging holes to plant them in, she said.
It was the first time the year-old St. Catharines IKEA location had an opportunity to participate in the program, funded through Christmas tree sales in December.
Celia Johnstone from Tree Canada said the newly planted pine trees will also create wildlife habitat.
“This is mowed grass as many parks are, and it’s absolutely of no use to the environment or to wildlife,” she said.