Urban Forest Health Monitoring Program

Long-term monitoring of our urban forest is important in order to evaluate the status of the resource over time and determine whether it is improving or declining. The state of the urban forest is always evolving as a variety of biotic and abiotic factors continue to shape the forest structure. By monitoring the urban forest, relevant baseline data can be collected and changes, trends, and patterns can be tracked over time. The results of the Urban Forest Health Monitoring program help formulate the Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan.

A third of the town’s woodlands are assessed each year on a three-year rotational basis for signs of pests, disease and other disturbances. A report card of the woodlands surveyed in each year is produced to evaluate the health of forest.

As a result of Oakville’s response to the many challenges facing its urban forest, the town has been recognized by the Canadian Forestry Association and the Society of Municipal Arborists and has achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification through the forest certification program of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF).

Forest Health Ambassadors

The Town of Oakville engages residents to help monitor neighbourhood street trees for invasive insects, disease and other issues related to forest health. The program runs through the summer months and Ambassadors can survey as many or as few trees as they like at any time that is convenient for them.

Are you looking to learn new skills and volunteer in a meaningful way? Now is your chance. Register for one of our information and training sessions. High school students can earn volunteer hours. Email us with your address at foresthealthvolunteers@oakville.ca.

The program is currently on a winter break and will start up again in Spring 2020. Additional details about training dates will be posted at that time.

We thank you for your interest and look forward to the 2020 Forest Health Volunteer season!

Resource materials

Volunteer Data Form (pdf)

A Visual Guide to Detecting Emerald Ash Borer Damage (2006) (pdf). Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Detecting Signs and Symptoms of Asian Longhorned Beetle Injury: Training Guide (2006) (pdf).

City of Toronto, Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, United States Department of Agriculture.

Helpful links

Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: Forest Pests (EAB, Gypsy Moth, ALHB)
How to identify the presence of EAB: Signs and symptoms (2012). Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Forest Stewardship Council 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.