You have Parkinson’s disease…. yet you still remember my birthday, every single year, without fail. I’m glad we were alone, because when you said “Happy Birthday”, I had tears up my eyes.  Thank you for loving me so much. Thank you for remembering all the times we’ve spent together so, so many years ago. I would do anything to make you happy.
You are a VERY special person to me and I hope you know that.

The maples trees of Montreal

Have you been noticing black spots on almost ALL of the leaves of the maple trees in Montreal? Indeed, these black tars do not belong there, and it is an infection. But how did these trees acquire this infection, when they were not here originally?

It all started with a group of religious men who have heard that youngsters hid amongst the Sugar Maple on Mount Royal to do “dirty” things that we do not talk about. In attempt to stop this outrageous act, he decided to cut down the the majority of the Sugar Maple on Mount Royal. A couple of years later, there were another group of men who saw how naked the Mountain became and acknowledged that this was a serious issue. In desperation, they started planted trees again, all over the mountain and across Montreal. However, the Sugar Maple is a tree that grows incredibly slow. They needed a tree that grew tall and fast. In attempt to keep the Maple leaf symbol of our country, they picked out the Norway Maple, which grows significantly faster than our Native sugar maple. The Norway Maple began sucking all the nutrients and it started wiping out the Sugar Maple. Consequently, the fungus that lives in the soil do not recognize this foreign Norway Maple, and thus, it infected it, leaving ugly black tars on the leaves. The leaves of the Norway Maple is yellow in fall, and red for the Sugar Maple. It is almost impossible to find a red maple leaf in the regions of Montreal. About 80% of the Maples trees are infected. And guess what the Norway Maple CAN’T do? It cannot make maple syrup. So in the near future, all the Cabane a sucre will be out of business. Sad, but true.

-R.Kiu