Trees, shrubs and vines of High Park

A great variety of trees, shrubs and vines can be found throughout High Park's savannahs, woodlands, forests and manicured areas. Some were planted as ornamentals, including some native to Canada that would not have grown in this location before European settlement. There are also a number of invasive species brought here by birds and other means.

Fortunately, many of High Park's woody species that still remain are typical of the park's native plant communities and would have flourished here for centuries, and perhaps millenia.

Oak savannah. Photo: Karen Yukich
Oak savannah. Photo: Karen Yukich

The Oaks of High Park

Black Oak (Quercus velutina)
This medium sized tree likes to grow at the top of ridges in well-drained sandy soil. Black oaks grow to 50-80ft or 15-24m and have an open spreading crown. ...The bark is dark gray on the outside and the inner bark is yellow or orange. The inner bark used to be a source of medicine, tannin and yellow dye for cloth the bark was dried and pounded to a powder and the dye was extracted.

The Toronto area is the northern limit of black oak...

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Some of the trees you will see in High Park

Running Serviceberry flowers. Photo: James Kamstra

Shrubs and Vines in High Park

Shrubs and vines form part of a well diversified vegetation structure, creating an important mid-level layer between wildflowers and trees. They provide habitat for wildlife, offering nectar to pollinators in spring and summer and berries to birds in the fall.

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