FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2019
Quinte Conservation will be thinning and harvesting trees from Vanderwater Conservation Area near Tweed this fall. The property was purchased many years ago and planted with Red Pine to rehabilitate abandoned agriculture land that was at risk of erosion. Vanderwater Conservation Area continues to be a demonstration site for environmentally sustainable forestry practices.
Quinte Conservation Lands Operations Coordinator, Tim Trustham says, “It may seem counterintuitive to cut trees to improve forest health, but in the case of plantations, it is essential that timely thinnings are carried out.”
Red Pine is a nurse crop that allows native species to establish in the shade below. Planting trees reforests marginal land, provides wildlife habitat, and improves air and water quality.
Trustham explains, “Establishing a well-managed plantation means a hardwood forest can be achieved in under a hundred years. We are beginning to see advanced regeneration including a diverse mixture of Eastern White Pine, Red Oak, White Ash, and Hard Maple.”
Trustham adds, “Harvesting trees is one element of good forest management. Every tree is evaluated by a professional forester who makes a decision about whether to cut or maintain. It’s comparable to thinning carrots – you thin out the row so the remaining carrots can grow bigger.”
The harvested trees will be used for lumber. The tops and limbs of the trees are left on the property. As the material decays, it returns nutrients to soil and provides habitat for a wide variety of native species such as reptiles, small mammals and fungi.
Quinte Conservation is close to achieving Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Certification through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF). The FSC® program is an international certification program which supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.