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Knight Archives Earth Day Shredding Event Results!

            With the help of everyone who donated their time and effort, and Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority we were able to plant 11 different native plant species. Let me tell you a little bit about each of them and why they are important to the environment.

Northern Hackberry

  • Largest native Hackberry
  • Leaves are 6-9cm long and turn yellow in the fall
  • Single, reddish purple fruits hang below the leaves and may persist into winter
  • Grows commonly in moist bottomlands near rivers and lakes but has proven to be a very adaptable species for dry, windy sites and urban areas


  • Large heart shaped leaves
  • Fragrant yellow flowers and round grayish-brown fruit which hangs from the center of a leaf-like bract which acts like a helicopter wing and carries the seeds away in the breeze
  • Known to grow along fence rows and within the deciduous forest
  • Bees love Basswood flowers because they bloom in midsummer, when few other trees are in bloom

Red Maple

  • Medium sized and can grow up to 25m tall with a 60cm diameter
  • Leaves are 5-15cm long and turn bright red in Autumn
  • Seeds are contained in “keys” that float down from the branches in early summer
  • Usually found in central and southern Ontario
  • A fast growing shade tree with shallow roots

Black Gum

  • Recognized by its shiny, smooth edged dark green leaves which are 5-12cm long and reddish leaf stock
  • Fruits are bluish-black when mature, with 1-3 fruits together on a long stock
  • A naturally rare tree in Ontario, usually found in low, wet areas
  • Brilliant red colour in the fall
  • Can grow to 20m tall
  • Although the flowers are small and hard to see, bees love them!


  • Distinctive in all seasons with its patchwork bark that flakes off to reveal white, green, and cream-coloured inner bark
  • Large, Maple-like leaves
  • Fruits are solitary, firm ball-like groups of many hairy seeds
  • Found naturally in scattered locations across Southwestern Ontario
  • Can grow up to 35m tall
  • Like many willow species, Sycamore has a shallow, fibrous root system
  • Can be one of the largest broad leaf trees in Eastern North America
  • Thrives off of rich flood plains


  • Shrub that grows wild in much of Southern Ontario
  • Popular for its purple black fruit which is used in pies, wines, jellies, jams, juices and soups
  • Has spectacular fragrant flowers
  • Commonly found on fertile, moist soils
  • Fruits normally mature between mid-August and mid-September

Black Currant

  • A valuable addition to any garden/environment as these are very hardy plant
  • Prized for their distinctive flavour in juice, jam, jellies, pies, and other desserts
  • Grows best in a cool, moist, well-drained environment
  • Plants can remain productive for at least 8-10 years

Pussy Willow

  • Common throughout the southern half of Canada
  • Can grow as a shrub or a small tree up to 8m tall
  • Twigs are flexible with large fuzzy buds
  • Flowers in early spring, flowers appear before the leaves
  • Produces long-necked capsule fruits that measure 0.2-0.5″


  • Can grow up to 12m tall
  • Oval or round leaves with fine teeth on the edges
  • Clusters of white flowers that bloom in the spring
  • Small red berries ripen in early to mid-summer
  • Found throughout Ontario, as far north as James Bay
  • A great source of food for pollinators, birds, and small mammals
  • Berries are edible and can be used in baking, jams, and wine

Red Osier Dogwood

  • Shrub known for its colourful red branches
  • Thrives on poorly drained shorelines, meadows, marshes, swamps, and bogs
  • Can grow 1.5-4m tall and 3-5m wide
  • Small white flowers with globose white berries
  • Provides food and cover for many mammals and birds


  • Grown as a large shrub or small tree reaching 15-20ft high
  • Known for its dark, lustrous green leaves which turn maroon-red in the fall
  • Typically found in woodlands and wood edges
  • Birds are attracted to the fruit that ripens in the fall and often persists into December
  • Caterpillar and larva host to the spring Azure butterfly

In total with our shredding event, we were able to save 145 mature trees. We can all do better to help preserve our local ecosystems when we work together!

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