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Ontario Woodlands Appreciation Week 2021   

News Release - May 6, 2021   Go to

Using Your Five Senses to Experience the Woods

The OWA family actively cares for and interacts with their woodlands on a daily basis. We understand that the woods are a connecting thread of Ontario’s biodiversity. Woodlands also play a positive role in community health and spirituality. We are proud to celebrate the gifts that they give, and we want to inspire more Ontarians to learn to actively care for them.
During this year’s Ontario Woodlands Appreciation Week (OWAW), from May 8th – 15th 2021, we are encouraging all Ontarians to get out in the woods and experience them using their five senses. We have put together three fun activities each day, for five days, to help you delve into a “sense of the day.”  We encourage you to share your gratitude for your Woodlands with the wider Ontario Community. On social media you can use the #OWAW and #Woodlanders hashtags to inspire others to join you. A full list of activities and informational links will be emailed to you this weekend, as well as posted to our website event page and in social media. 
As you partake this week, please document any bird sightings. Birds Canada has set up a portal on their website where OWA members can register and report findings of stick and cavity nests. This important citizen science data will help Birds Canada compile comprehensive information on different species that inhabit the interior of our forests.

To sign up for the Birds Canada Portal,

1. Register    Register now

2. Find OWA NatureCounts Project     Go to  

Here are some resources in preparation for Woodland Appreciation Week!

Woodland Gear To Bring With You:

  • Binoculars
  • A favourite drink and snack to-go
  • Notebook & pen for any observations
  • Appropriate clothes and footwear
  • Tick removal kit

Some additional items to have handy:

  • ID Books - Bird ID Book, Wildlife ID Book, Tree ID Book, Plant ID Book, Any ID book!
  • ID Phone or Tablet Applications – Try downloading: SEEK, INaturalist, Smart Bird ID, BirdNET, Merlin Bird ID, Invasive Species Center App (EDDMapS Ontario).
  • OWA Field Master Bird Inventory by Subregion – download buttons

Day 1 - May 10th  -  HEAR

1) Listen in silence for three minutes in the interior of a forest. What is the softest sound and what is the loudest?  What is happening in the spaces between sounds? When you walk again, try covering your ears to feel the vibrations your steps make on the forest floor.

2)  How many different bird songs can you hear in five minutes? Try the app Bird Net or Smart Bird ID to identify the sounds. Try also the OWA Master bird inventory list by sub-region available. See links below.

3) Listen to and record the spring Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris triseriata) or try hooting for the Barred Owl (Strix varia) at night. See link to  “hooting” practice from the OWA spring conference.

Additional Resources:

  • See Owl Hoot by John and Bill at the end of OWA Spring Conference or check out this video by Ontario Parks   Youtube      
  • Option to download Bid ID apps – Smart Bird ID, BirdNET, Merlin Bird ID
  • OWA Field Master Bird Inventory by Subregion     download buttons   


DAY 2 - May 11th - TOUCH

1) Touch the bark and note the differences of five tree species. You could investigate what medicinal properties this bark has in a medicinal plants ID book or online.

2) Pick up a handful of earth in the shade of the woods, or rest your hand in the cold running water of a small creek. Note the moisture the forest gives.

3) Feel the delicate petals of any wild flowers you can find blooming and note the different textures that come from their unique form. What pollinator are they trying to attract? See link to pollinator information below.

Additional Resources:

  • Learn about Birch Bark Medicine:  Youtube 
  • Learn more about pollinators!    Go to       


DAY 3 - May 12th - SMELL

1) Break off small twigs of Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis), Balasam Fir (Abies balsamea), Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) or Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and compare the aromas. Use ID book or app to help!

2)  Compare the smell of the forest in the shade versus in the sun. Notice how each microclimate smells.

3) Compare the aromas of at least three wild flowers you find such as the White trillium (Trillium grandiflora) or Ragged Fringed Orchid (Platanthera lacera). Note the strong scent of unpollinated flowers.

Option to Download:  ID applications to help you ID your woodland friends: SEEK app, INaturalist app


DAY 4 - May 13th - TASTE

1) Try a piece of a Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) leaf, you may want to start to regularly use it in your salads!

2) Pull up from the base of the inner shoot of a young cattail (Typha latifolia) and try a bite of the white fleshy part at the bottom. Be sure it is first a catail! You could event watch a video or two on how to harvest.

3) Try one of the teas recommended in the article Hot Tea on a Cold Day, in the 102nd issue of The Ontario Woodlander. Share a photo with us!

Additional Resources:

  • Read “article Hot Tea on a Cold Day, in the 102nd issue of The Ontario Woodlander”   download buttons       
  • Young cattail (Typha latifolia) harvesting video   Youtube          


DAY 5 - May 14th - SEE

1) See if you can find a Vernal Pool, which is a seasonal pool found in the forest that is essential to the survival of some wild life such as forest frogs because it contains no fish to eat them! What can you find there?

2) Walk through the woods and look down. Take a photo of a wild flower or plant that you cannot identify, and try to determine its name using an ID book or app such as Seek.

3) Walk through the woods and look up, find a cavity or a stick nest and try confirm what animal or bird is using it using an ID book app such as Smart Bird ID

Additional Resources:

  • Read about Vernal Pools  Go to      
  • Record your stick nest sighting to Birds Canada    Go to

2021 AGM and Conference Recordings

 If you missed all or any part of our virtual conference, or just want to review one or more of the presentations, we offer you the following links to the recordings…

NOTE:  these meetings require the passcode to be entered to view - you can copy and paste


Annual General Meeting   -  Passcode:       8ZV2J7=V

              Watch AGM Recording> 


Student Woodlands Career Forum   -  No Passcode required

             Watch Student Panel>


Night One  -  Passcode:     Q.u3Hgn&

            Watch Conference Night 1 Recording>


Night Two   -   Passcode:     Tz#V6g2s

            Watch Conference Night 2 Recording>


Night Three    -    Passcode:     *$3CuvzU

            Watch Conference Night 3 Recording>


The Eastern Ontario Model Forest and the Invasive Species Centre have just released a helpful written summary focusing on the European Gypsy Moth. This Information Note is part of the Early Detection and Rapid Response EDRR) Project funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Read Article>

The County of Middlesex is seeking a Request for Tender W2021A - for the Sale of Marked Timber within the Moore and Vey Tracts located near Glencoe, Ontario, in Southwest Middlesex. Additional information is available and can be found on the County Website www.middlesex.ca  

Please note that we have reverted to our traditional tender process. Click here for the document.

Note:  Closes on May 27, 2021  12:00 pm (noon) local time  


 Woodland Vocations for Students (presentations and panel) 

April 20, 2021    -   3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.     

Moderator: Erica Dixon, Communications Coordinator, OWA Panelists: Donna Lacey, Manager of Forestry and Lands, Saugeen Conservation Ronnie Huang, Business Manager, Forest Products Division, Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Heidi Erdle, Forest Liaison and Technology Transfer Manager, Petawawa Research Forest

There is no registration fee for the conference, however a contribution to our Champion Donor Program is greatly appreciated: https://www.ontariowoodlot.com/donate/champion-donor-program


 Register now

Special Announcement

Dear OWA members,

This week both the OWA Board and the Board of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF), agreed to begin a process to merge, with the intent of preserving the programs of the EOMF within a new combined legacy that will also help to reduce administration costs and duplication. Both organizations realized that it is now timely to make these changes, with a wonderful opportunity to optimize our collective value and further improve woodlands stewardship in Ontario. There is no doubt that the merger of our collective products and services will bring benefit to all of our members and Chapters.

The recent retirement of the EOMF’s Jim Hendry, who was in charge of the forest certification program and the imminent departure of Astrid Nielsen, General Manager of EOMF have contributed to the desire to move forward with this exciting venture. In the interim, the EOMF will not re-staff its General Manager position as our Executive Director John Pineau will take on the role with both organizations. The Certification Coordinator position will be restaffed to support that important program, and a competition is currently underway. This position will report to John moving forward.

Detailed discussions between OWA and EOMF are now underway to determine how we best join forces to our mutual benefit. A transition period of one-year to complete the merger has been agreed to by both parties. Martin Streit, Vice President of the EOMF will become part of the OWA board of directors, to represent the interests of the EOMF. Initially the EOMF will continue with its present board, and over the next year we will develop an appropriate model of governance that meets the needs of both organizations, and that recognizes the diversity of all of our partners collectively, including the Mohawks of Akwesasne, a founding partner of the EOMF.

The combined efforts, products, and services of the two organizations will create greater value for all of our Chapters and members and contribute significantly to our collective goal to ensure healthy, productive woodlots across Ontario. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to John directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Yours truly,

Paul Robertson


Ontario Woodlot Association

 Tony Bull

Tony Bull, a member of our Renfrew County Chapter and also President of the EOMF, recently conducted a second thinning on seven hectares of 35 year-old Red Pine in his family's woodlot.

A first thinning was carried-out 10 years ago. Always great to see the application of best management practices!

The Opportunities and Options our Woodlands Give

Dates: Tuesday, April 20th to Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

AGM Time: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (April 20th) followed by: 

     Woodland Vocations for Students (presentations and panel)  3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.     Register now

Conference Times: 7 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. EDT each evening

Our 2021 virtual conference will feature a variety of interesting and informative presentations organized by thematic evenings.

There is no registration fee for the conference, however a contribution to our Champion Donor Program is greatly appreciated: https://www.ontariowoodlot.com/donate/champion-donor-program

Agenda            Register now


First Aid Kits are available for purchase.  Includes Emergency First Aid Kit, Lifesaver Pouch and Tick Removal Pouch.  Member price is $131.00 (includes hst & shipping)  [Non-Members cost is $162.00]

 1st Aid Kit 1


First Aid Lifesaver Pouch for Members is $35.00 (includes hst & shipping)  [Non-members cost is $40.00] 

Life Saver Pouch 2


Tick Removal Kit for Members is $30.00 (includes hst & shipping)  [Non-Members cost is 35.00]

Tick Removal pouch 2

Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to order or phone 613-713-1525

OWA President Paul Robertson was the guest on CBC Ontario Today on July 16, 2020, answering questions about the European gypsy moth.

Click here to listen to the show on podcast:  CBC Ontario Today - July 16, 2020

Our partnership with Birds Canada to deliver webinars for our members on How to Identify Cavity and Stick Nests was a great success!

Many thanks to Ian Fife, Forest Birds Program Coordinator with Birds Canada for his interesting and informative presentations.

If you missed the live webinar sessions - to access the recordings on the Birds Canada YouTube channel  -  Click here >   webinar icon

We are pleased to announce the final report for the Firewood Production in Southern Ontario study.

Many thanks to Hailey Kim for leading this project for us, and to the project team for their support of Hailey’s work – Eleanor Reed (Kawartha Chapter), Kym Snarr, Art Shannon and Paul Robertson (Niagara Chapter).

We would also like to thank the forestry service providers and individual members who assisted with or contributed to this study!

The OWA is grateful to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) for providing the funding to undertake this project.

Click here to download the report

News Release: Ontario Woodlot Association Appoints New Executive Director

Publication Date: 2020-05-04

Kemptville, Ontario – May 4th, 2020 – The Board of the Ontario Woodlot Association (OWA) is pleased to announce the appointment of John Pineau as Executive Director effective May 4th, 2020. John brings extensive experience working in non-profit organizations to the OWA, as well as significant time in progressively responsible positions in industry and government during a career spanning over 35 years.

Most recently, John was employed as Provincial Leader Ontario for FPInnovations, a Canadian non-profit dedicated to research across the forest and wood products value chain. Prior to this he served as Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) from 2006 to 2014. John also worked for the Forestry Research Partnership as Science Extension Manager from 2000 to 2006. Early in his career, he worked for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources from 1979 to 1994 in a variety of capacities and locations across the province. He was also employed by Millar Western Forest Products in Alberta as G.I.S. Manager and Biologist from 1994-2000. John has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Trent University and a Diploma in GIS Technology from Fleming College. He currently volunteers on the Boards of Directors of the CIF, the Canadian Ecology Centre, and the Friends of the Petawawa Research Forest. John and his wife Liz live in Mattawa, Ontario. They have three adult daughters and a grandson.

The OWA is a not-for-profit grassroots organization governed by an elected, volunteer board of directors. Its vision is Healthy, productive woodlots. OWA members own and manage woodlots throughout the province and include individuals and organizations that believe that private landowners have a key role to play to ensure that sustainably managed forests remain a part of Ontario’s future. The mission of the OWA is to promote the sustainable management of Ontario’s forests by providing guidance, advice and best practices to woodlot owners that allows them to evolve as stewards of these most valuable lands. The OWA acts as the united provincial voice on issues that influence the long term health of Ontario’s woodlots so they will always contribute to our economy, environment and society. The OWA’s network of local Chapters provides an opportunity for members and the public to learn, see and appreciate the value of this fundamental natural resource and the woodlot owner as its steward.


“We are excited to have John join the OWA as our new Executive Director. He will help us with our plans to grow membership, enhance our value proposition, diversify our business model, and successfully advocate on behalf of Ontario woodlot owners.” Paul Robertson, President of the OWA.

Related links

Website: www.ontariowoodlot.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OntarioWoodlotAssociation/

Twitter: @ontariowoodlot 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/ontario-woodlot-association/about/



John Pineau

Executive Director

Ontario Woodlot Association

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 705-358-4261                                        -30-




Special Documentary on Art Shannon, his horses and working in the woods.


WORKHORSE is an ode and essay on horse-powered labour through the contemporary experiences of three teamsters whose work and lives are intertwined with their stoic equine partners.


WORKHORSE is Caines’ second feature-length film. It is part of an ongoing series of documentary portraits that examine the relationship between rural communities and industry in Ontario. Formally composed, the film reflects on our ancient relationship with horses as living machines bred to work. Thematically, the film contemplates the idea of horses as biotechnology (animals domesticated, bred, and harnessed for their physical power), and the now largely forgotten role of the equine in the history of commercial and industrial development.

Learn more click here  ABOUT

Click here for the TRAILER



By Sue Chan

I’m sitting at my study window looking over a snow-laden landscape with more snow coming down. It’s February, and it’s a long time until bee season. Still, I’m thinking about bees, about their critical role as pollinators in our food system and in the food systems of many Ontario wild birds and mammals. I’m thinking about all the small berries and fruit in the wild landscape: wild raspberries, strawberries, thimbleberries, blackberries, blueberries, bearberries, winterberries, elderberries, mountain ash berries, Canada plum, wild apples, hawthorn — all are produced by plants in response to pollination. We get that, and that’s why we like bees. But what about food for bees?

Let’s clear up something right now, before I go on. I’m not talking about honey bees here. Honey bees are not native to Ontario, and they really are agricultural animals in this province. That means they have humans that care for them explicitly in exchange for the surplus of honey, pollen, beeswax and pollination services they provide, especially in the agricultural context. Honey bees are not bad, but as I said, I’m not talking about honey bees.  I’m talking about the 400-plus species of wild bees that are native to Ontario. These bees don’t make honey, most don’t live in colonies (except for the bumblebees), they don’t swarm, and generally, they avoid stinging.

Many (but certainly not all) native bees emerge from their snug nests in the ground or in hollow stems early in the spring (March or April, depending on the year), a time when few plants in our Ontario landscape have begun to produce the flowers that provide the nectar and pollen critical to bees’ survival.  These bees include bumblebees, and nine genera of solitary bees (Osmia, Anthophora, Colletes, Lasioglossum, Halictus, Augochlorella, Agapostemon, Andrena, and Ceratina) — about 225 species in all. These bee species are dependent upon ephemeral spring flowers in forests, early blooming non-native bulbs in gardens (like scilla and crocus), invasive coltsfoot often found on road edges, wind-pollinated deciduous trees such as red, silver and sugar maples — and the pussy willow. The earliest blooming of these are the pussy willows, which produce their soft fuzzy grey flowers at the first sign of warmth. I have two large pussy willows in my garden, and one of them began to bloom in the warm spell that we had in January of 2018 (not so great for the plant and not very useful to bees!).

Pussy willows (Salix discolor) are interesting shrubs for a few reasons. First, they are very adaptable to all kinds of soil and moisture conditions. I have one in a place where its feet are wet most of the year and another in a place where the soil is dry and gravelly. Both thrive and produce flowers that are covered with foraging native bees in the spring. Second, they are dioecious, meaning there are male pussy willow plants and female pussy willow plants. The flowers (also called catkins) of the male plants are different from those of the female plants (see photo) because the male flowers produce pollen whereas the female flowers do not. Both male and female catkins are covered in a silver-grey fuzz, a veritable fur coat that protects the pollen and the ovules (eggs) within the flowers from damage in cold weather. Third, although neither of the catkins look much like the conspicuous colourful flowers we normally associate with bees (think apple, sunflower or pumpkin flowers), what they lack in colour they make up for in scent cues, and nectar and pollen production, that ensure that spring-active bees find them. In exchange for the critical nectar and pollen, they provide to bees in early spring, pussy willows are pollinated by the bees that visit them.

We all love pussy willows for their soft grey catkins, and if you are anything like me, you rush out and cut the lovely stems to put into vases in your house as harbingers of spring. I celebrate this human ritual, but let’s also remember to leave pussy willow catkins for the bees too. A good rule of thumb when harvesting any wild plant is to only take 20 percent and leave 80 percent for other living things. If you see evidence of others having harvested pussy willow stems, move on to another spot to do your harvesting. As many experienced pussy willow harvesters know, many of the pussy willow stems that are brought inside and put in water will produce roots. When you have a chance in spring, replant those stems where you are able to give back a wonderful, reliable source of nectar and pollen for bees in spring.


Male and Female pussy willow catkins


Red Pine Plantation Threatened by Dog-Strangling Vine
By Kate McLaren
The Ontario Woodlander Volume 91
page 4

Last summer, my husband, Richard, spent several weeks updating our managed forest plan. Our family has about 800 acres of woodlands, wetlands and old pastures, along with a small red pine plantation, in the Addington Highlands. On a sunny day late last July, we decided to take a look at one of the compartments that consisted mostly of abandoned pastureland that we hadn’t visited for some time. It was overgrown with wildflowers, junipers and raspberry bushes, as well as pockets of immature hardwoods and wild cherry trees.

In the sweep of native plants, we almost missed an unusual plant that had wound itself over the top of some milkweed plants near the base of a wild cherry tree. It had glossy green leaves and slender stems holding several pairs of long, lime-green seed pods.

We took a sample home and looked it up online. To our dismay, it turned out to be dog-strangling vine, or DSV. This invasive plant had arrived in our beautiful old field.

New Resource is for the Birds
By Becky Stewart
S&W Report Volume 89
page 17

There is a new addition to the list of online resources on the Ontario Woodlot Association’s website: Beneficial Management Practices for Southwestern Ontario Forest Birds at Risk: A guide for woodlot owners and forest practitioners. To be honest, I have been wracking my brain to come up with an attention-grabbing introduction. But the guide doesn’t lend itself to that. There are no frills, no photos, no graphics. Instead, it is a science-based document, primarily intended for woodlot owners and managers, including Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) participants, and anyone interested in managing all or part of a woodlot to help species at risk. It is also for conservation organizations and wildlife biologists who are regularly asked to give advice on species at risk.

To our knowledge, this guide is the first of its kind for southwestern Ontario. It is quite short. Using eight tables (one for each of eight at-risk bird species found in southwestern Ontario’s Carolinian forest), the guide describes each species’ local habitat preferences, the natural processes that create their preferred habitat, and their responses to silviculture. This information is then directly linked to potential beneficial management practices (BMPs). What’s unique is that the recommendations also take into account different conservation priorities, helping managers navigate issues such as conflicts between different species and their habitat needs, and recognizing which habitats are limiting, and which are not, within the region.

All of the information in the guide came from peer-reviewed, published research (or from experts, when published research wasn’t available), and the guide was reviewed by members of the forestry sector, biologists, government wildlife agencies and academic researchers. Further, the guide is a “living” document, and will be updated as new research and information becomes available.

The Forest Carbon Opportunity for Woodlot Owners
By Jamie MacKinnon
VP, Environmental Solutions

A carbon cap-and-trade program entered into force on January 1, 2017, putting a price on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with fossil fuel use throughout Ontario. The program will allow for GHG reductions from such things as carbon sequestration from forests to generate offsets that can be sold to entities within the cap-and-trade program to meet their compliance requirements. Between now and 2020, such companies can use up to 43 million tonnes of CO2 worth of offsets for this purpose. With current carbon pricing at over $18 per tonne, and regulated floor prices scheduled to rise, the Ontario market offers a significant new revenue opportunity for forest owners in the province. The Ontario Government is working on developing several forest carbon protocols for recognition of offsets. The most promising for private woodlot owners are Improved Forest Management (IFM) and Avoided Conversion (AC). These initiatives are based on the California protocol, which has been very successful at rewarding forest owners for sustainable forest management.

Lyme Disease — and the Associated Issues with Diagnosis (or no Diagnosis) — Part I

 By Don Willis, RPF, Near North Chapter

The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is carried by the blacklegged deer tick and can cause Lyme disease in humans. Lyme disease is not easy to diagnose, and the health-care community is struggling to learn more about diagnosis and treatment. Physicians are either aware of the disease or not — and hopefully have the basic understanding of the need for immediate treatment when informed about someone being bitten by a blacklegged deer tick.

The Value of Ontario’s Woodlots in Protecting Drinking Water Supplies

By Thom Snowman


Among the many benefits provided by Ontario woodlots is the protection and production of water. While 60–65% of the province’s population draws artificially treated water from the Great Lakes or major rivers, the remainder relies on other surface waters or groundwater supplies that are at least partially kept clean by the 66% of Ontario that is forested. While provincial statistics show that 90% of the forest is in public parks or Crown land, there are 170,000 private woodlot owners who pay property taxes, yet provide protection for drinking water without compensation for that service. Drinkable water is an increasingly valuable commodity, produced for free by forests, yet very expensive to produce through artificial filtering and treatment.

Wildflowers: the gems of Ontario’s woodlots

By Jenny McCune, University of Guelph

Woodlots are treasure troves of wildflowers. Over the past two summers, I’ve had the pleasure of doing plant surveys in over 100 private woodlots in southern Ontario. Many woodlot owners are surprised to find out about the number of different species growing in their woodlot. In a one-hectare (2.5-acre) area, my assistants and I have recorded anywhere between 27 and 160 different species of plants, including trees, shrubs and herbs.

Redheaded Pine Sawfly Neodiprion Lecontei
By Matthew Mertins, RPF, Forest Management Supervisor, Mazinaw-Lanark Forest Inc. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The redheaded pine sawfly is a common and natural forest pest of red pine forests in Ontario. It can cause serious havoc in young red pine plantations, many of which are located on private land and have received a significant amount of investment on behalf of landowners. Red pine is selected for planting since it is easy to establish in an open field environment and can be effectively managed through a series of plantation thinnings for forest products, such as decking lumber and hydro poles.

Dog-strangling vine in Ontario: Caterpillars to the rescue!
By Naomi Cappuccino, Carleton University

Dog-strangling vine (DSV), also known as pale swallow-wort, was introduced from Europe in the late 1800s. DSV has become a highly invasive weed in the Ottawa Valley, Toronto area and elsewhere in eastern North America. DSV is native to the grasslands of European Russia and Ukraine. Although it is a rare species in its homeland, in North America it forms extensive, dense mats of intertwined stems that choke out other vegetation. It thrives in a variety of habitats including hedgerows, fields and woodlots. Once it has invaded an area, it is extremely difficult to eradicate.

By Peter Hill, Haldimand Chapter

Our little heaven is in Haldimand County, Carolinian Canada country! It’s long and narrow and of the 80+ acres (I still haven’t converted to hectares), some 30 acres at the southern end is wooded. It’s a nice mix of hardwood species with some conifers thrown in. It has vernal pools, wetland and a slightly rolling nature. On the east side it is adjacent to our neighbour’s large 20-year-old white pine plantation, and the total interconnected forest through several properties must run to over 300 acres.

One of the signs that spring has finally arrived is the melting of snow and the emerging green growth that begins to poke through the forest floor. The ostrich fern Matteuccia struthiopteris is one of spring’s early risers. Named after the Ancient Greek struthio meaning ostrich and pterion meaning wing, the common and scientific names refer to the large, feather-like shape of the fern. The curled crosiers that emerge in the spring are fittingly called fiddleheads.

By Brian Lawrence, CRSP, Consultant-trainer with Workplace Safety North

The purpose of this article is to make woodlot owners aware of some of the hazards and safe felling practices that are associated with the harvesting of timber in the bush.

Prior to massive European-style agricultural development, the most productive lands in east-central Ontario were rich deciduous forests. Oaks, butternuts, beech, hickories, black walnuts, chestnuts and hazels were common and were often substantial food resources for many forest dwellers. However, modern Ontarians praise their forests mostly for white pine and sugar maple and have forgotten or do not know all the rest of the remarkable species rarely seen on woodlots and in provincial parks. They almost disappeared from our landscapes and may become extinct if we do not boost the propagation potential of remaining populations or even individual majestic nut-bearing trees.

Wetlands are lands that are saturated with water long enough to cause the soil to become waterlogged, and the growth of water-loving or water-tolerant plants to occur. Wetlands are transitional habitats, often forming the connection between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They can occur where the water table is at or close to the surface, in low-lying locations, or along the edges of lakes and rivers. Many wetlands are permanently flooded, while others flood only periodically in the spring or fall. You can often walk through such areas in the summer without ever getting your feet wet!

by Lynn J. Landriault

Historically, southern Ontario was covered by forests interspersed with lakes, wetlands, grasslands, and other open areas. The natural landscape has changed dramatically as a result of agricultural practices and urban development. In many areas, private woodlots are the only remaining forests, and are critical for maintaining tree diversity and providing habitat for wildlife that require forest cover. Thoughtful, well-informed management approaches can result in woodlots that provide habitat for a wide range of forest-dependent wildlife species, while providing owners with a host of other benefits, including economic benefits in the form of wood products.

By Paula Vopni and Bruno Pretto

Woodlot owners are familiar with the many colourful and delectable mushrooms that emerge from the forest floor after spring and autumn rains. These mushrooms are much sought after, and wild mushroom gathering and cooking are delightful and rewarding activities. While these “earth” mushrooms, such as chanterelles, morels, and truffles, are ephemeral and difficult to cultivate, there is a whole category of more reliable “wood” mushrooms that grow on trees and fallen logs in natural woodlands. These wood mushrooms can be purposefully cultivated in a controlled manner. This article is intended to give you a basic understanding of how you can cultivate nutritionally valuable, gourmet mushrooms such as shiitake and oyster mushrooms on hardwood logs outdoors under the forest canopy. You will find some valuable references at the end of the article for further learning and for ordering mushroom growing supplies.

By Dick Lalande

Few woodlot owners take advantage of operating a commercial woodlot as a farm, and each owner and their own situation is unique This article will focus on a theoretical woodlot, Harry’s Commercial Woodlot, which is a forested, 400-acre mixed forest, some planted trees, swamp and field mix, situated in eastern Ontario.

This spring I had the pleasure of visiting Kelly’s Blueberry Farm near Bancroft. The blueberries were in bloom, and the bushes were alive with hundreds of bumble bees and other native solitary bees. Notably, the blueberry growing area on the Kelly’s farm is surrounded by forest on all sides. Few insecticides, if any, are used and all manner of wild flowering plants are allowed to flourish on hillsides and natural lands. On a tour of the woods I saw numerous native flowering plants on the forest floor and the forest edges boasted staghorn sumac, virgin’s bower, wild apples, choke cherries, pussy willows, meadow sweet, and many more flowering shrubs, all of which are nectar and pollen sources for bees. The trees themselves, although mostly wind pollinated, are visited by bees in early spring when other pollen sources are scarce and tree pollen is plentiful. My guess is that many of Ontario’s wooded areas are much the same--expanses of good foraging habitat for Ontario’s bees.


A series of case studies were developed to profile examples of responsible long term forest management in southern Ontario. Eight landowners were interviewed to gather their financial and forest information and to summarize the history of activities on their properties. Annual revenue and costs for various products (timber, fuelwood, and maple syrup) were obtained from the landowner. A representative crop model was developed for a typical crop rotation in Ontario using corn, soybeans & wheat. The model was based on crop enterprise budgets developed by OMAF, which reflect agriculture industry average costs and returns. A Present Value calculation was used to estimate the equivalent 2010 value for revenue and costs from the woodlots and agriculture crops. This paper summarizes the results of the eight cases. The results show that, during the time periods covered in this study, sound management of woodlots has provided returns that are complimentary and favourable in comparison with agricultural returns. The overall purpose for this study was to promote and document responsible management of privately owned forests.

To access the full report, pdfclick here.

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