Public Interest in Tree Planting Growing Rapidly
Fergus, ON – February 1, 2008 – Last night, local landowners packed the Wellington County Museum to learn about tree planting, at one of a series of 12 workshops being held across the province by Trees Ontario.
Trees Ontario, with its partners, the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA), Grand River Conservation Authority, Wellington County Stewardship Council and Green Legacy Tree Nursery, presented information from tree planting experts on how to plant trees and reduce costs, while helping to protect the environment.
“We are seeing a significant increase in attendance at these workshops over the last year,” said Michael Scott, President and CEO, Trees Ontario. “This is important, because we need to get more trees in the ground if we are to help reduce our environmental footprint, reduce the effects of greenhouse gases and improve the quality of our air.”
“Currently our tree planting partners are planting close to 3 million trees a year on private land, mostly across southern Ontario,” explained Mr. Scott. “This is a long way from the average of 20 million trees planted each year in the 1980’s. If we are to rebuild our tree planting capacity, we must find ways to reduce the costs to landowners as much as possible, and work closely with our tree planting agencies across Ontario that include local Conservation Authorities, Ontario Stewardship Councils and private nurseries.”
There are several financial incentive programs available to help landowners reduce costs, ranging from $0.10/tree to as high as $1.25/tree, which can reduce the cost to the landowner to as low as $0.15, depending on the size of their land and the number of trees planted.
In addition, the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP), introduced by the Ontario government can provide significant property tax reductions for landowners who satisfy certain basic criteria such as having over 10 acres of forested land and a willingness to prepare and follow a forest management plan. Upon acceptance into the program, the forested portion of the property is reassessed as managed forest and taxed at a reduced rate the following year.