tree suggestion

(Question)

The city has removed a tree on city property/boulevard in front of my property in North Toronto.  I am looking for a fast-growing, low-maintenance, safe replacement.  I have reviewed choices, and it seems that Black Maple is suitable.  Does this fit the profile?

(Answer)

A Black Maple, Acer nigrum, would be a solid choice of tree for your boulevard to replace the tree that was removed by the city.  These Maples are long lived and can grow into beautiful specimens.  See the link below for a nice overview of this species from the University of Guelph.

https://www.uoguelph.ca/arboretum/thingstosee/trees/blackmaple.shtml

I have only three concerns with regards to planting a tree that could potentially grow quite large.

Firstly, in general Maples have a dense growth habit with foliage that blocks out sunlight to vegetation growing beneath the tree.  If you have a front yard garden, you may find that over time as the tree matures, your garden becomes quite shady.  The answer to this is regular pruning, raising of the tree crown and thinning out of the smaller branches to decrease the density.  Since this is a tree that belongs to the city, you will have to request any maintenance service from the city to be done by a city tree contractor, which can take time.

Secondly, as I have stated above, these Maples can grow into beautiful specimen trees, but if you have hydro lines, telephone lines or other utility services running above ground on poles outside your house, the tree will have to be cut as it grows in order to maintain these utility lines.  This cutting can cause the tree to become quite deformed and often quite ugly.

Thirdly, what are the other tree species planted along the boulevards of your street?  If they are all Maples, then I would suggest you plant something else as monoculture is not advisable.  Diseases and pests can be species specific so variety brings diversity and control.

If none of the above concern you, then planting this tree would be lovely.