Descendants of Vimy oaks to guard Vimy memorial at NDG Park

Three tiny saplings grown from trees that began as acorns gathered at Vimy Ridge by a lieutenant who survived the historic battle are to be planted this week at Place de Vimy, a memorial in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Park.

3 trees grown from trees that began as acorns found at Vimy Ridge among 81 being planted in wind-torn park

Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough workers plant trees in NDG Park on Sherbrooke Street at Girouard Avenue to replace those destroyed in a 2017 microburst. (Jean-François Vachon/CBC)

When Lt. Leslie Miller made it through the Battle of Vimy Ridge alive in April 1917, he wanted something to remember it by. There was almost nothing left living in the muddy field, but he managed to find a handful of acorns from a half-buried oak tree and took them home to Ontario.

Three tiny saplings grown from the oak trees that grew from those acorns in Scarborough, Ont., are to be planted this week at Place de Vimy, a memorial in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Park.

It's been more than a year since a microburst devastated NDG Park, and today, the first of 81 new trees was planted in the park as part of a restoration effort.

That is nearly double the number of trees which were uprooted or destroyed on Aug. 22, 2017.

"We saw the impact of the microburst on the community. It really was like a death to see all these trees down," said NDG borough Mayor Sue Montgomery.

She said the park is important for residents of all ages and a popular spot for people to walk their dogs.

Montgomery said it's particularly important to replant now, since so many NDG residents have been losing trees around the park to the emerald ash borer infestation.

The borough has fallen behind on the tree-planting project, Montgomery admitted, so it's hired three more people to get them in the ground.

"There's a huge problem with climate change right now, and one of the best ways that we can bring down the earth's temperature is by greening spaces so that's what we want to do," the borough mayor said.