Gallery - From the Roots Up: Special Trees of Dundas 2016

Melville Street Japanese Maple

Melville Street Japanese Maple


16x24" (includes black wood frame, 18x26")


Owners’ story:

“Our Japanese Maple on the corner of Melville and Cross Streets is a unique, historic tree. It is approximately 90 years old and was probably planted when the property, then the Manse for Knox Presbyterian Church, was undergoing major renovations in the early 1900’s. A long-time resident recalled seeing the tree circa 1920.

We realize we are stewards of this wonderful tree and will pass it on to the next owners. We have lived here for nearly 30 years and have come to appreciate that many people in town have ‘personal ownership’ of the tree. They bring their families to look at it, especially in its fall scarlet colours. This ownership was underlined for us when, during a violent windstorm 15 years ago, a large evergreen fell into the middle of it, destroying the crown of the tree. People were so upset they delivered sympathy cards to our home, and cried to see what had happened.

The town offered to cut it down, but in consultation with the Royal Botanical Gardens we decided to leave it alone to see if it would recover. Happily it has renewed itself and new growth has covered the major trauma that the tree underwent. Children love climbing this tree and feel welcome to enjoy its wonderful, welcoming branches.

Artist's story:

I am always interested in the different ways trees gift us with much more than shade, shelter, food and clean air… they provide a seat for long memories of place. Clearly this well-loved tree has a heart of its own, and deep, healthy roots, for it to overcome the accident that broke its crown years ago. We can’t help but wonder if it drew from the warmth and sympathy of its admirers.