Humber Arboretum Case Study
Humber Arboretum is a unique community resource established in 1977 and managed by City of Toronto, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, and Toronto and Region Conservation. The Arboretum features a variety of gardens and natural areas spread out on 100 (250 acres) hectares of land. Over 1,700 types of trees and flowering plants as well as a diverse selection of wildlife call this conservation area home. The Humber Arboretum is a leader in environmental education and is visited by more than 20,000 visitors annually, of which 8000 are children.
Why Use EcoSharp?
Prior to using EcoSharp, the Humber Arboretum used Glyphosate. One of the biggest problems with Glyphosate was that its use was contingent on the wind factor. In fact, for Glyphosate, winds are catastrophic. Because the Arboretum is located in a rather flat area that is not protected from the wind, wind is an issue. Hence, Mr. Baller found that he was fairly restricted in the times that he could use Glyphosate. For instance, he would usually apply it in the mornings but because of the dew on the ground, Glyphosate was less effective. Mr. Baller estimates that it took him the entire season – from spring to late summer – to cover the entire Arboretum grounds, which consist of 60 flower and shrub beds, extensive pathways and tree rings.
Weaknesses with Glyphosate
The main weaknesses associated with Glyphosate were:
- Weather – the product could not be applied when it was windy
- Not healthy for workers, students, and pets on campus
- Not environmentally friendly
- Higher risk factor for the applicator
- Time factor – you have to wait anywhere from one week to two weeks for the effects to become apparent. Hence, if the treatment did not work, you would not know about it for a long time.
The Arboretum did try two other methods – the Steamer and propane burners – but they were not satisfactory as they were far too slow.
Advantages of EcoSharp
- Environmentally Friendly
- Fast – the effects can be seen in a few hours
- User/People/Pet friendly
- Spraying under such a flexibility of conditions
- Alternative to chemical herbicides