It happens the same way frequently for Roland Adams — he finds a sapling tree growing in the yard, and he doesn’t have the heart to kill it.
So the tree, be it a maple, oak or healthy young ash, ends up surviving another day in his yard.
It’s sort of a symbiotic relationship — Adams gets to feel good about himself, and the trees, though silent, would likely express thanks for being spared the Weed Eater if they could.
All was peaches and cream, until he reached the point where he'd spared quite a few, and he (or rather his wife) decided it might be time to figure out something to do with them.
That’s when the two got the idea to give them to people looking to plant trees around town, to help combat the loss of trees in Niagara-on-the-Lake, especially ash trees across town due to the invasive borer beetle.
“With all the ashes dying — that’s a national crisis — I thought it would be good to plant them around town,” said Adams.
A self-confessed tree-lover, Adams thinks it’s important to keep a lush tree canopy in NOTL and hopes some of the trees he’s saved will end up living long healthy lives in yards across town.
On August 25, Adams is inviting people to come collect a tree from his residence at 488 Gage Street.
The trees he’s giving away, he notes, are all Carolinian and native to the area.
He encourages residents to plant them in their yards and maintain them to help replace the lost ash trees.
He also said he hopes the next town council will implement a firm tree protection bylaw, not only for the town’s character, but in the long-term to prevent flooding through natural drainage.
Adams had some help potting all the trees from his daughter Olivia some of her friends from the local Royal Oak Community School.
So far he estimates they’ve potted around 100 trees.
Adams said he was inspired partly by other local efforts, such as Chautauqua’s tree rejuvenation project.
“Basically for me, life is a very precious thing. I mean, it’s the most important thing we’ve got. And isn’t nature wonderful?”
He encourages residents who want a tree to plant to come get one on the event day, where he will also be accepting donations to go towards Royal Oak school.