Two local companies are donating their services to prepare wood from two historic willow trees from Spencer Smith Park for future use, such as furniture or artwork.

Local companies help give Spencer Smith willow trees a second life

The two iconic 70-year-old weeping willow trees near the gazebo at the waterfront park were removed in June 2016 to ensure public safety. City of Burlington arborists had found significant rotting and areas of decay in the trees, originally transplanted by park founder Spencer Smith in the 1950s.

“These trees have deep, historic meaning for the community,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “The City of Burlington greatly appreciates the donation of time and talent from our local companies.”

Arborwood Tree Service Inc. and Exotic Woods are at the city’s roads and parks maintenance building this week, planing, milling and then kiln-drying the wood from six large logs to make boards that can form a table, chairs or other furniture.

“I am delighted that the trees will have a second chance to serve the community, and to have their beauty and historic value treasured for generations to come,” said Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward. The city also has more than 200 clippings from the willow trees growing in a greenhouse this fall and winter. The young trees will be ready in the spring for people who are interested in growing a piece of history on their own properties.

More information will available in early 2017 about how people can get one of the willow clippings or to take a piece of wood home as a souvenir. The city will post updates at www.burlington.ca/willowtrees.

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