Gary Borman, ranger at McLaren Falls Park, deserves a reputation for stickability, if he hasn’t already got one.

Gary has been trying to grow from seed the much-admired maple at Cherry Bay that lights itself up with fiery red leaves in the autumn.

The maple in autumn.

His first couple of tries failed miserably, not one seed germinated. But this past summer it looked like success might finally be in the wind – a whole tray of seeds came through. He’d kept them in the fridge for several weeks (earning the ire of his wife in the process, he reveals), figuring that a good chilling might be key in encouraging a tree native to Japan where feezing conditions are the norm in winter.

Catching up with Gary last week, I discovered that the story doesn’t have a happy ending – yet – as every one of his sprouting trees rotted. He thinks he over-watered them, is doing some more research and is ready to have another go.

If he ever realises his ambition and gets a group planted on the bank opposite the visitor centre, that will truly be Gary’s legacy to the park.


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