Urban Forest Plan

Looking Northeast
77. Looking Northeast

 Dunning-Macdonald Courtyard:Existing Condition
78. Dunning-Macdonald Courtyard:Existing Condition

Dunning-Macdonald Courtyard: Improvement Concept
79. Dunning-Macdonald Courtyard: Improvement Concept


The landscape of Dunning-MacDonald courtyard dates back to the seventies when the buildings were constructed. This well-defined but under used courtyard should be improved by opening views and creating a stronger link to and from Union Street.

Priority rating: 1

The trees in this courtyard are of an interesting variety. Although the grove of Austrian Pines planted in the seventies creates a landscape feature, the trees are in declining health. The existing Beech in the northeast corner is a nice specimen, but overcrowded by the Larch which is in poor condition. Two centrally planted Horse Chestnuts are in good condition, and should be given sufficient space to grow. A few Crabapples have been planted along the west edge and appear to be in satisfactory condition. The terrace with raised planters at the north entrance used to be planted with hybrid tea roses, now replaced with annuals.

The unique qualities of this courtyard should be preserved. Improvement concept consists of specimen trees in the centre of the space and tree groupings at the perimeter to soften the surrounding building facades. Views and movement routes through the courtyard should be maintained. The street level terrace should be redeveloped to enhance views and access to the courtyard below. The Larch should be removed to allow the Beech to reach its full potential. A new understorey of a shade-loving specimen would do well here against the concrete wall backdrop. This corner has the potential to become a naturalized garden setting. The Austrian Pines should be monitored to maintain their health for as long as possible. It may be worthwhile to consider relocating the existing crabapples, while they are transplantable, to a more appropriate location. The Austrian Pines may be extended to fill in the west corners, while staying away from the potential canopy area of the Horse Chestnuts.

Maintenance should focus on removing the Larch and pruning out the deadwood in the Austrian Pines. The Horse Chestnuts should also be pruned and cabled if necessary. A natural needle mulch bed should be encouraged beneath the Pines. All trees should be fertilized.

Species recommendation

Evergreen tree
   Pinus nigra, Austrian Pine
   Pinus strobus, White Pine
   Tsuga canadensis,Hemlock

Specimen tree
   Carpinus caroliniana, Blue Beech
   Cercidiphyllum japonicum, Katsura Tree
   Cladastris lutea,Yellowwood