Cyclists love to ride among trees for shade, shelter, serenity and joy. We learned tree facts from Brampton foresters along our route.

Brampton Active Transportation Advisory Committee volunteers and BikeBrampton members led the 13th of our themed community rides on Sept 10th.

Our largest group ever, 63 cyclists gathered at Terry Miller Recreation Centre for Brampton Tour the Trees. BCAC co-chair Lisa delivered the safety briefing to a range of new to very experienced riders. Our rides feature low volume roads, bike lanes, urban shoulders and multi-use paths. A led-ride offers a safer experience for all.

Brampton Community Ride, Terry Miller Rec

Lisa demonstrated the turn signals.

left turn signal demonstration


In Brampton 2040 Vision, our goal is to plant one million trees. Essential to reaching this goal is knowledge about tree maintenance.

We organized Brampton Tour the Trees with Jessica, from Parks Maintenance & Forestry Community Services. She coordinated forestry experts to give us presentations in three parks. The first stop was Maitland Park to listen to Trevor explain tree planting and maintenance no-no’s. When we mulch, we must make a donut at the trunk base and avoid the “volcano”! Trees need air. Rocks and concrete (even those circles) around the base overheat the trunk. Trees need deep watering, not little short sprinkles.

Community Ride, Maitland Park

We cycled on to Massey woodlot Park to listen to John explain how clearing the “understory” causes the forest floor to dry out and expose the roots. When there is a big rainfall, the thirsty trees drink up the water and can explode, as this otherwise healthy tree did! We make these errors through lack of understanding how trees work.

Community Ride, Massey forest

John is the “Guardian of the Trees”, and he spoke passionately about his work in Brampton forests. The oxygen that trees expel is critical to humans. By having healthy urban forests, we are improving our air quality and the percentage of oxygen in the air.

Brampton Community Ride, John, Massey forest

In Manitou Park, Praben explained to our group about the importance of the City’s street trees. Residents don’t own the land right to the street. When we widen driveways and cut through large street tree roots, we are unknowingly killing the tree. He told us about the disease now coming to oak trees and that we must not cut any of them. We need a permit to cut down any tree on our property.

Brampton Community Ride, Manitou Park

The longer Brampton Tour the Trees group looped up to Black Forest to cycle through this large group of old trees. We returned to Terry Miller Rec Centre for a BBQ lunch, complements of Brampton Parks Maintenance & Forestry Community Services!

Community Ride BBQ Parks & Forestry

Trevor, John and Praben quizzed the cyclists on tree questions from the presentations. 3 people won a copy of The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben.

Brampton Community Ride Tour the Trees
The Hidden Life of Trees book winner

Barry Lavallee put together a collection of pictures and videos he took, while he also marshalled one of the rides. Well worth the view to see much more…

Our thanks to Jessica for organizing the BBQ and 3 foresters (John, Trevor and Praben) for this terrific event! As usual, Rob was there for the set up, take down and flipping the yummy burgers!

There was so much more we learned than appears in this short blog. For more information, visit City of Brampton Trees.