I Am The Lorax, I Stand To Recognize This Tree, The McKenzie Marsh Truffula Tree

I Am The Lorax, I Stand To Recognize This Tree, The McKenzie Marsh Truffula Tree

I strongly recommend reading The Lorax book by Dr. Seuss (guaranteed that it will take you about ten minutes to read) or even better seeing a movie recently released that I saw. It was that one day when I read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss that I decided to read ALL of Seuss’s books.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, July 2007

It was few months ago that I coincidentally found a copy of The Lorax book in our local Aurora Public Library. I was amazed and very supportive of Dr. Seuss’s environmental literary piece which he published in 1971. Now, I am also a proud owner of the book. Okay, okay, Matthew is..

McKenzie Marsh Tree, July 2007

I also read last week’s Weekly Notice Board and under the Public Notice I read the Have Your Say! Tree Protection Bylaw. They asked and here is my Say! And may be little out of context, but I want to speak for the trees, dead or alive.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, July 2007

Trees clean the air. Trees give us free cooling, that is shade. Trees enhance our neighborhood look. Trees provide food, yes apples grow on trees. Trees provide habitat for wildlife and attract nature’s best flying creatures, the birds. Okay, I am getting carried away; however, that must be enough reasons to stand by the trees.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, July 2007

So I read the TOWN OF AURORA GENERAL COMMITTEE Approval of Tree Protection By-law dated January 17, 2012 (watch out the link is for PDF file).

I itched and itched to comment on few paragraphs.

The online survey was completed by 100 respondents. This could be considered a relatively low participation rate and not indicative of community-wide public opinion, given Aurora’s gross population of over 52,000; however, staff was advised by our Communication Department, who assisted in the survey, that this survey was among the highest in participation of any previously conducted survey.

I did not participated in the survey. A one hundred people responded to surveys – a good enough number, I think. Other, over 51,100, did not participated because: many don’t have trees, many of them are children, and some just don’t bother.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, April 2011

McKenzie Marsh Tree, Great Blue Heron, August 2006

The current by-law provides for an exemption to golf courses. In reviewing the public survey results and other municipal trees by-laws, the By-law Review Committee sees a need to regulate the cutting of trees on golf course properties; however, the Committee also believes that golf course owners need a level of flexibility to be able to manage their business needs.

Oh that clause to exempt the golf courses bothers me. ‘… a level of flexibility to be able to manage their business needs‘ – why not be then in the forestry business.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, Great Blue Heron, July 2007

Under the current by-law there are no applicable minimum/maximum fines for a first offence. The revised by-law now provides for a minimum fine of $500.00 on a first offence and a maximum fine for any offence of $100,000.00.

Yes, the town by-law enforcement officer (I don’t even know if we have one?) has difficulty to charge a dog owner for having a dog off the leash or for not picking up after the dog; do you really think that they will charge someone for cutting a tree. Or may be they will?

McKenzie Marsh Tree, Green Heron, July 2007

“Mister!” he said with a sawdusty sneeze, “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. – The Lorax, Dr. Seuss.
So what really I wanted to talk about is the McKenzie Marsh landmark tree. No doubt it is dead but it has been indirectly alive and a great perching place for many marsh birds as you can see on all the photographs here taken over many years. I took many pictures over the years and yet found that every year I got a new surprise perching on this tree.

Once heavily preoccupied by Cormorants, the Gray Blue Herons stepped back. Since 2006 the cormorant population slowly declined in the pond and the tree space is often equally shared with herons, osprey and all other smaller bird species.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, Osprey, May 2011

And yet I think we know very little about the tree. What kind of tree? How old is the tree? When did it die? Well today I stand to recognize the McKenzie Marsh landmark tree of which I/we know a very little about.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, Trumpeter Swan & Mallards, August 2007

I will not be surprised that there is someone who knows a lot more about the tree, that is today still standing, strong and on duty protected by the marsh water.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, Northern Flicker, June 2007

Yes, and the real point? The point is that we just need more trees in addition to what we have. We need to protect the trees, by-law or no by-law. As mentioned above they are good in many ways. They are good when cut, but better when alive.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, Red Wing Black Bird Females, August 2007

Trees are not only cut at the golf courses, they are cut when new subdivisions are being build. Mature and healthy trees can live for a long time, yet we shred them to nothing. Best example, South East corner of Bayview and St. John’s sideroad. I was so used to this treed corner that since their removal I keep missing the intersection.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, Cormorants, August 2007

Having said all that, did you know that you can get great deal of experience and a tree deal for participating in Backyard Tree Planing Program?

McKenzie Marsh Tree, Cormorants, May 2011

The Backyard Tree Planting Program is a partnership involving Aurora, York Region and LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests).

Through a full-service Backyard Tree Planting Program, a LEAF arborist meets with the participant in their backyard to select the best species and location. They teach the homeowner proper tree care and the benefits of trees. LEAF staff will return to plant the trees in spring or fall. The cost of this program ranges from $150-200 per tree (and this amount includes the consultation, tree, and planting service).

The Do-It-Yourself Program, participants complete an online workshop (education portion) and receive email advice on species selection from a LEAF arborist, picks up their tree in the spring or fall from a community event, and then plants the tree themselves. The cost for this program ranges from $25-$35 for small trees (for pick up) to $100-$150 for large trees (for delivery)

McKenzie Marsh Tree, Cormorants, October 2006

And regardless of the price you can participate in the Commemorative Tree Program in the Arboretum.

McKenzie Marsh Tree, July 2007

Even better, try not to cut the tree.

About the Author

Anna Lozyk Romeo

I am living in Aurora and this is my photo journal blog. A picture says 1000 words - but not always, so I write. You don't have to travel 1000 miles to find a treasure - all I have to do is zoom through my lens and I will find it for you here in Aurora.


  1. Yay! Thanks for celebrating THE tree, Anna :)

  2. I tried :).
    Thanks James.
    Anna :)

  3. Anna,

    Those are some great shots of the Herons. I especially like the male Great Blue and the Osprey.
    Whenever I visit I’m only seeing the Cormorants.

    And Yes I too love that tree as well.

  4. Doug, yes the tree is definitely a landmark.
    These photos were not taken in one day, so I can see how you always see the cormorants :), they invaded that three and same for me too I always see them.
    But I also noticed that we have less and less of them.

    Thanks for commenting and visiting.

    Anna :)

    PS you have nice photos in your flckr gallery, especially of the people