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.

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The red maple in full autumn colour at Cherry Bay. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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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