Managing trees or a forest on a large property can be an overwhelming task for landowners.
This is something Credit Valley Conservation is acutely aware of, and has worked to create viable ways to assist.
“From 1955 to today, CVC has worked with private landowners and municipalities to plant over seven million trees, covering over 3,500 hectares, an area roughly ten times the size of the Toronto Islands,” said Alastair Biscaia, forest management technician at the CVC.
In 1956, the organization purchased their first tree planter, which kicked off the start of their planting program. In the first year, 20,000 seedlings were planted. Then, in 1978, the CVC launched a potted-tree planting program.
There are a number of benefits to the increased presence of trees on a property, aside from being beautiful and increasing property value.
“Healthy forests contribute significantly to our health and well-being,” noted Biscaia. “They clean the air we breathe and filter the water we drink. They offer us places to play and to relax. They moderate temperatures and play a critical role in the natural water-cycle.”
According to the environmental organization, the majority of the land within the Credit River Watershed is privately owned.
These landowners are presented with the unique opportunity of caring for the environment and enhancing the landscape through investing in the expansion of forests and trees.
“Since the start of the CVC’s planting programs, we recognized the important role of private landowners to bring back healthy and resilient forests to the Credit River Watershed,” said Biscaia.
Tracking back to 1851, about 67 per cent of the watershed was covered by forests. With the increase in settlements over the next 50 years, that number fell to around 10 per cent. It remained that way until the 1950s.
As of today, forests now cover 23 per cent of the land located within the watershed.
“This is a big improvement, and there are (still) more tree planting opportunities,” said Biscaia.
Currently, the CVC offers a fully subsidized tree planting program to make it easy and affordable to increase the number of trees on your property. By adding the trees, landowners are also able to qualify for the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program, where they can save 75 per cent on their property taxes.
“We make it easy to plant trees on your land with full-service tree planting and subsidies that can cover up to 90 per cent of the cost,” said Kate Hayes, senior manager of restoration and management at CVC.
On Saturday, Oct. 17, the CVC will be offering free in-person advice at TSC Stores Orangeville, both to help raise awareness about the planting program and to provide tips and advice to residents.
“The in-store drop-in is an opportunity to learn about tree planting projects on your property, financial incentives and how to care for your forests,” said Hayes.
Biscaia added that a major benefit is that attendees will be able to meet with the CVC’s forestry experts during the event.
“It’s a great opportunity to ask questions and learn more about how the CVC makes it easy to plant trees and manage forests on their properties,” he said.
For more information on the event or program, visit cvc.ca/forestry or call 905-670-1615, ext. 709.
Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner