Video: City Re-Using Trees To Make Benches

November 14, 2021

Did you know that whenever the City of Hamilton removes a damaging tree from a City sidewalk, it is then made into street furniture?

The City explained that “many of the benches and tables around Hamilton were made from trees that either fell in a storm or had to be removed from the sidewalks because their roots were damaging private property.”

“Prior to being made into furniture, the felled trees must first air curate for several months or years in special storage areas. The planks are arranged so that air can circulate around them in a process called ‘flaking’.

Once this process is complete, the City’s own in-house carpenter Daniel Hayward turns them into the beautiful bespoke street furniture you see all around Hamilton. Suitable tree species include Ebony, Mahogany and Cedar.

Last year, Mr. Hayward created more than 20 benches from just one felled Mahogany tree.

The idea to repurpose the trees into street furniture came from the City’s Parks Superintendent Steven DeSilva, who said that cutting down a tree is always the last resort for his team.

“Whenever the City cuts down a sidewalk tree it’s because they are causing extensive, progressive damage to the sidewalk and neighboring properties,” said Mr. DeSilva.

“We do everything possible not to cut down a big tree. Some of these trees have been in the City for upwards of 80 years. We have records for when most of them were planted but for the ones we aren’t sure about, we can cut a ‘biscuit’ or cross section from the tree and count the growth rings to see how old the tree is.”

“All removed trees will be replaced by Ebony trees which will provide extensive shade for pedestrians. ‘Tree root guides’ will be installed with the new trees which act as a barrier around the tree pit, deflecting the root growth downward, rather than across the sidewalk.

“Over the last five years, The City of Hamilton has saved tens of thousands of dollars in lumber and labour costs through this programme and helped to lessen our environmental impact.

“So next time you take a seat on one of the City’s park benches, you may have a new appreciation for the transformative journey this tree has taken to give you somewhere beautiful to sit!”

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Comments (3)

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  1. wing nut says:

    How considerate of the COH, i guess the benches on front street are not enoUgh for the vagrants to sit on,they need more accommodation.

  2. Nicky says:

    Once there were shade trees all along Front Street. Why have they never been replaced with shade trees?II commend using the wood from the trees that you have removed however where is the plan to add more trees to Hamilton City?

  3. Question says:

    Will this stink of urine like everywhere else the vagrants hang out?