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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Articles, Galleries and Guides

What's New?

Welcome to Our New Website!

By High Park Nature | September 14, 2020
Since the High Park Nature website was first launched in 2010, it has provided a wealth of information about the natural features of High Park. Now we are pleased to…

New Treatment for Buckthorn

By High Park Nature | July 9, 2020
This summer Urban Forestry is partnering in a demonstration trial with BioForest, a forest pest management company, to manage invasive buckthorn shrubs using the bioherbicide Chontrol Peat Paste. The active…

Toronto Star article, January 13, 2020

By High Park Nature | April 5, 2020
“We love High Park for its natural beauty. Will that love be the death of it?” Read the article or The Star Pressreader version

High Park Christmas Bird Count Results

By High Park Nature | December 27, 2019
The most recent High Park Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 (a very windy day). The High Park route ended up with 43 species, our lowest since…

High Park Stewards Summary 2019

By High Park Nature | December 1, 2019
There were over 280 participants (between 110 individuals coming at least once) who came out to High Park Stewards field restoration events. The average number of Stewards that attended each…

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