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The Madzo Family

The Madzo family lives in Bismark in the centre of the Niagara Peninsula where 88 year-old Louie Sr. works the farm with his son, Louie Jr. Their land includes 10 acres of mixed hardwoods which they actively manage and, when he retired in 1993, Louie Sr. began adding white pine for extra diversity.

He cleared shrubbery in the woods by hand, using pick axe and shovel, and then planted seedlings obtained from the 1st Provincial Nursery in St. Williams. With approximately 500 planted each year, the family is very proud of the 3,000 pine which now stand 40 feet tall in their woods. Louie Sr. says “They have added a wonderful diversity to the woodlot, in both summer and winter.”

In 2005, with the help of Trees Unlimited and the Niagara Woodlands Restoration Fund, 5,490 bare root seedlings were machine planted on 6.1 acres adjacent to the hardwoods, adding additional diversity and almost doubling the total acreage of the family’s forest.

In 2013, the Madzo’s were awarded the Niagara Woodlot Association’s “Woodlot Owner of the Year” award.

One of Louie Sr.’s favourite sayings is: “Plant a tree today and retire in the shade!”

Member Profile

  • Dave Sexsmith
    Dave Sexsmith

    Dave first joined the OWA at the invitation of a friend and he has been an active member since. He has served on his chapter’s board and hosted field days for the organization.

    Through his involvement with the OWA, Dave has met many people who share his fascination with trees and enjoy exchanging experiences and ideas. Knowledge gained has allowed Dave to better appreciate the ability of the forest to provide products for our use and still be the biodiversity centre of our province.

    Through tree planting and natural regeneration, Dave, and his wife Lois, have seen their old farm fields convert into a treed landscape, providing wildlife corridors and habitat.

    A lifelong woodworker, Dave produces a wide range of woodland products, from firewood and lumber to carved burl bowls while, at the same time, observing how his property is evolving back to mature forest.

    Of his experience with the OWA Dave says “I came out to get answers to my forestry questions; I’ve stayed because of the quality of people I’ve met.”

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