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Tony and Ann Bull

Our property had about 30 ha of established bush and some open fields, as well as a house and barns. The year after we bought the place we had 6 ha planted in red pine thanks to the Woodlands Improvement Agreement. The bush is quite varied; stands of white pine and poplar and many mixed stands. A small area of red pine was planted in the mid 1970’s. There had been no extensive harvest in 50 years.

Over the years we cut enough wood to heat the house and sell a small amount that we did not need. We cut trees of inferior quality and those that competed too successfully with red pine which need full light.

Membership in OWA led to learning more about woodlot management. In addition, we achieved Forest Stewardship Certification for the woodlot via the Eastern Ontario Model Forest that holds the FSC certificate.

In preparing a management plan we became convinced that the established forest was in need of an improvement thinning. The thinning operation started in the winter of 2005; the last load taken out in October 2006. A local horse logger conducted the operation under contract with Laverne Heideman and Sons. They did not have the best quote price-wise, but they had a good reputation for a quality operation. Our interest was in the state of the bush after logging, number one; and a fair price. We felt that we achieved both. And in 2011 we had a first thinning of the red pine plantations that we had planted in 1986.

In addition to working in the bush we hike and ski on our trails, and enjoy the solitude and privacy that comes with a substantial area of land. Caring for the bush and its inhabitants and outdoor experiences in all seasons and weather, both severe and benign, has greatly enriched our lives.

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  • Jim and Jan Barton
    Jim and Jan Barton

    Jim and Jan bought Maple Tree Farm in 2010; 105 acres with 85 acres forested. Since their purchase, they have discovered a true passion for trees and have been working hard to repair and upgrade buildings, trails and other features on their land.

    Part of their focus has been on reviving a maple syrup operation that had been dormant for over a decade before they moved to the farm. They have since invested in a sugar shack and a 500-tap maple syrup operation.

    With the help of forest professionals, they have been carrying out improvement harvests to remove the poorer trees (cutting firewood and sawlogs) — leaving the healthier trees with more room to grow. Over time, they hope to expand their maple syrup operation as they have also discovered the nutritional benefits of this golden food source and wonder of nature.

    Joining the Ontario Woodlot Association seemed like the right thing to do to learn about the forest and their new “hobby,” so they became members and have hosted a local field day. They have become strong supporters of the OWA and appreciate the good forest management information that membership provides.

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