Westmount's infected trees
The west end's diseased trees are casting a shadow on the neighbourhood.
by Angelina Chapin
Westmount looks like the perfect place to live. Kids frolic in the field behind St. Agnes School and neighbours greet each other by name. The neighbourhood has a unique design---front yards are the size of backyards---so people see more of each other. There's just one problem and it's keeping Lois Beaton up at night: "They're all dried up," she says of the black-spotted leaves that litter her street. "I hear them rustling in the night. They sound like bones."
The Norwegian maple trees planted in Westmount are infected with a fungus. In district 14, the west end, infected trees are outside each house, shedding shrivelled up brown leaves. Pinhead-sized black spots appear in late May and spread to about one-and-a-half inches by late June. In July, they cause leaves to dry up and fall and by August or September, many of the maple branches are bare.