Forests Ontario

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Trees Ontario & Partners Warn Against Premature Planting

TORONTO, March 19, 2012 – With spring arriving with record temperatures on Tuesday March 20th at 1:14:27 AM, Trees Ontario and partners are eagerly preparing for the upcoming tree planting season that will see approximately 3 million trees planted across southern Ontario.

Although Ontario faced a relatively mild winter and record-breaking seasonal temperatures, Trees Ontario advises the public to assess planting conditions in their local communities before putting trees into the ground. “Plants establish most quickly when soil temperatures are warm and moisture availability is adequate, but not excessive. Both root growth and ability to absorb water are negatively influenced by low soil temperatures for newly planted conifer seedlings,” said Rob Keen, RPF, Trees Ontario CEO. “It is often recommended that planting be delayed until soil temperatures reach the 5°C range.”

The 2012 trees planting season will launch in early-mid April for most communities in Ontario. This year, Trees Ontario will work with partners, including local Conservation Authorities, Stewardship Councils and forestry consultants to plant close to 3 million trees across the province, bringing the total number of trees planted by the not-for-profit to 16 million. These trees will contribute to the minimum 30% forest cover needed for a healthy ecosystem, which is currently as low as 5% in some regions of southern Ontario.

To help increase forest cover and enhance the health and vitality of our communities, Trees Ontario offers subsidies that significantly reduce tree planting costs for landowners. One of the subsidy programs lead by Trees Ontario is the Ontario government’s 50 Million Tree Program with a goal of planting 50 million trees by 2020. “We encourage all landowners interested in large-scale tree planting efforts to consider taking part in our subsidy programs and helping us re-green the province,” added Keen. “Trees Ontario is focused on enhancing the tree planting infrastructure in Ontario and in order to increase annual tree planting levels, we need more landowners to provide a home for these trees.”

Trees and forests help clean our air, restore our watersheds, re-establish wildlife habitat and buffer against the effects of climate change. Forests also provide opportunities for physical activity and contribute to cardiovascular and respiratory health, cancer prevention, stress reduction and a wide array of other physical and mental health benefits. A significant increase in the number of trees planted each year, on rural and urban landscapes, may offer a more comprehensive approach to health care and potentially reduce costs associated with preventable diseases and conditions.

To learn more about the health benefits of forests or to participate in a tree planting program, contact Trees Ontario at 1.877.646.1193 or info@treesontario.ca.