Woodland Hazard Abatement

Image of dead ash tree on Nipegon Trail.We're helping our woodlands regrow after the impact of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

The town continues to treat municipal street trees to protect against EAB. However, the EAB infestation has had a devastating effect on our woodlands. Most, if not all of the town’s 43,000 woodland ash trees are now dead or dying.

The town is following best forest management practices to remove dead and dying ash trees to reduce the risk to the public and to help our woodlands regrow.

While natural regeneration will account for most of the regrowth in the woodlands, portions of select sites have been identified for enhanced and/or intensive regeneration and replanting.

2016 enhanced/intensive regeneration properties

The type and amount of regeneration for each area is determined by a silvicultural prescription. A silvicultural prescription is a document written by a Registered Professional Forester that describes the best forest management plans for the site, taking into consideration the forest compartment characteristics, the site’s history and health, the location and accessibility of the site, density of invasive plants, and new growth potential.

The removal of invasive plants, such as buckthorn, is an important part of regeneration activities as it provides growing space for newly planted trees and increases the success of native tree growth.


 

Natural Regeneration

Regrowth occurs naturally from seeds, root suckers, and sprouting stumps. Logs, branches and wood debris are left on the forest floor to decompose, nourish the soil, and aid in the natural regrowth of shrubs and trees. In woodlands, natural regeneration is the most common method of regrowth. These areas are left alone to regrow and do not require any additional work.

Enhanced Regeneration

Where ash trees comprised more than half of the forest canopy, and where there is little young growth of other trees, enhanced regeneration is used to encourage the establishment of native species. This includes buckthorn control and strategically planted trees where they are most likely to grow and survive unaided.

Intensive Regeneration – Prime Site

Where there is significant buckthorn infestation and/or little opportunity for natural regeneration, regrowth is aided by intensive planting and maintenance. Up to 2,400 trees and shrubs per hectare (1,000 per acre) are planted and include a variety of species and sizes from seedlings to larger saplings. These prime sites are monitored and tended for up to five years to encourage successful growth, by mulching, watering, installing rodent protection and replanting as necessary.


You can help renew our urban forest

Remove.

Dead and dying trees can become structurally unsound. If you have an untreated ash tree on your property, it will inevitably die. Remove untreated ash trees and replace with a different species. Doing nothing may put you and your property at risk.

Plant.

Take part in a community tree planting or visit the tree planting page for ideas on native trees you can plant in your own yard.

Check out the news release about our Arbour Day planting at Shannon Creek Trail.

For more information on other community tree planting events visit Oakvillegreen.


Woodlands Hazard Abatement Program

Hazardous trees that impose a safety risk will be removed from our woodlands. The town started removing the ash trees from the woodlands having more than 50 per cent ash tree population in 2012. Once this phase is completed, the town will manage the woodlands with less than 50 per cent ash population.

We're encouraging residents to contact ServiceOakville and report dead trees along the trails and adjacent to private properties. Trees designated for removal or other work will be marked:

  • A yellow dot or slash or an orange X indicates the tree will be cut down
  • An orange dot indicates the tree will be pruned

There will be a significant change in the appearance of the woodlands following tree removals. Logs, branches and wood debris left on the forest floor will eventually break down, nourishing the soil, and aid in the natural regrowth of shrubs and trees.

Visit the Iroquois Shoreline Woods page as a prime example of how a forest can regrow over time.

Review the 2016 Woodlands Hazard Abatement program map (pdf, 1.3 MB) to find all properties in this year’s program.

To review the proposed schedule of the Woodlands Hazard Abatement and Woodland Maintenance programs open the 10-Year Woodland Management Plan map (pdf, 12 MB)


FSC Certified

By following best forest management practices, the Town of Oakville is the first lower-tier municipality in Canada to have all 280 of its woodlands achieve Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest's (EOMF) Forest Certification program. The FSC® is an international, membership-based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.

The EOMF is a not-for-profit, charitable organization. The EOMF works with government, landowners, industry, First Nations, non-government organizations and others to develop new ways to sustain and manage our forest resources. The model forest provides a unique forum where forest users can build partnerships and gain a greater understanding of conflicting views, share their knowledge, and combine their expertise and resources to promote responsible resource management.

To learn more about the town’s EAB management program, visit the Emerald Ash Borer page.