Sidewalk tree obsession, continued

sad-looking tree on Peel


I wrote about downtown sidewalk trees for OpenFile Montreal after reading reports about tree deaths downtown and observing a Charlie Brown tree near UQAM (that story may be found by clicking on the Reported File tab).

I followed up with an interactive tree map showing how many trees each borough planted and cut down in 2010. I wanted more data then and still do. I initially asked for Excel data listing the location of each tree cut down in the Ville Marie borough, the species of tree, how long it had been there and why it was cut down but neither the borough nor the city appeared ready to give me that information. It was looking as though it would involve a long, drawn-out battle. So I settled on stats that seemed relatively easy to get – trees planted and cut down in 2010. I’m still waiting on two of Montreal’s 19 boroughs – Montreal North and St. Leonard. Most boroughs were friendly and willingly provided the information. Still, we’re a long way from open data in this city. I don’t see Excel spreadsheets being e-mailed anytime soon, if ever.

On my way to this year’s DrupalCamp Montreal at McGill’s McIntyre Medical Building I noticed several sidewalk trees on the west side of Peel between Doctor Penfield and Pine are either in sorry shape or have been removed.  I wonder why – were they damaged by McGill students, is it especially hard for trees to survive that hill, was there construction?

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