Leaving behind the idyllic south shores of the North Saskatchewan River, the next chapter of our virtual tour brings us to Rundle Park in the north. It’s come a long way from its origins as a coal mine and gravel extraction site and later a landfill for the Town of Beverly. Since the small municipality was annexed in the ‘60s, the City of Edmonton closed the dump and spent the next four decades beautifying the area. And their efforts are obvious. Now visitors see no evidence of its less than green past. In fact, Rundle Park has become just another verdant thread making up the ribbon of green spooled around our river.
Like Kinsmen Park, the focus of our other installment this month, Rundle Park is home to several recreational facilities that are available to the public all year round. The A.C.T. Aquatic and Recreation Centre offers scheduled and drop-in activities like badminton and pickleball. The Rundle Park Family Centre offers a setting for your next special event with beautiful views of the River Valley. There’s also a golf course, but you’ll have to wait for the 2017 season before you try your hand at the 18-hole Par 3 course.
Beyond these community centres, athletic visitors can enjoy tennis courts, soccer and football fields, ball diamonds, beach volleyball courts, mini golf, and a paddle centre by the river in the summer. Now that winter is finally on its way, the cross-country ski trails, toboggan hill, and man-made ponds for shinny and skating are more seasonally appropriate.
At any time of the year, however, the approximately 4 km walking loop is an excellent way to experience the park. The gravel trails that follow the river provide a refuge from the busy open spaces of Rundle, though the trees will part occasionally to provide outstanding views of the river. The quietude you can find alongside the river makes this part of the trail a popular destination for walkers, runner, bikers, and even pets!
It’s also a great place to spot the cluster of Poplars on the south bend of the route. Poplars are an incredible species of trees for their proclivity for rapid growth. They can add anywhere between 5 and 10 feet each year, until they reach a mature height of 50 to 100 feet tall. If you have any Poplars on your property, it may feel like you barely blinked before it shot up. Once you get over its growth spurt, you may also notice problematic issues regarding its structure. Weak, loosened limbs, competing branches, or boughs reaching towards buildings and power lines are exactly the kinds of things you don’t want to see in your trees. Luckily, there are plenty of advantages to pruning your Poplar in the winter.
It may only be November — and with a spat of warm weather to boot — but Old Man Winter is only around the corner. As your Poplars go dormant and lose their leaves, they give you a perfect opportunity to examine their structure. The cold weather conditions of the season makes the winter an ideal time to prune Edmonton trees, as the below zero temps prevent the spread of disease and pest infestations. Pruning can get them back into shape, improving their appearance and removing any problematic branches that may cause damage later on. The process also encourages healthier regrowth in the spring.
When mature Poplars reach up to 100 feet tall, the process of pruning them (and indeed, any mature tree) is no easy feat. You lack the equipment to reach its towering limbs and the experience to wield it, so the task should be left to the professionals. Should your walk through Rundle Park remind you of the essential pruning you need to take on back home, give our offices a call. Our team of ISA-certified arborists are trained to care for Edmonton trees at any time of the year.