If you have been down Cootes Drive this year you will probably have noticed a stark difference in the Flora in the marsh. Many, many trees are down or gone. The land’s appearance is rather bleak due to the presence of lifeless trees in the area.
Here’s what I found out regarding this matter:
- The area was previously abundant with red ash trees, but unfortunately, these trees fell victim to the invasive emerald ash borer, leading to their demise. 
- The presence of these destructive insects was initially detected in the area back in 2012.
- Although the dead trees dominate the landscape, there is a silver lining. New trees are gradually regenerating beneath the lifeless ones. However, the rate of regeneration depends on the fluctuation of water levels in the nearby lake.
- Efforts have been made to replenish the area with new trees. Around 500 trees, including sycamore, silver maple, and swamp white oak, have been planted in the region.
- To ensure safety, the dead trees close to the roadway have been removed to prevent potential hazards. As the area lacks public access, the remaining dead trees are not considered a safety risk.
- Despite their lifeless state, the remaining dead trees serve as a habitat for wildlife in the area. It is anticipated that these trees will naturally fall within the next five years.
I always thought that this property belonged to McMaster University but I am mistaken: it belongs to the Royal Botanical Gardens.