Planting Trees 2009 - Start Planning Now

Each year as snow begins to melt and spring rolls around, and as the bare earth reveals itself after a cold winter, one begins to think of growing things again. If you are thinking about tree planting next spring the time to start planning is now. Hastings Stewardship Council with Trees Ontario has planted over 100,000 tree seedlings through 2007 and 2008 and is working with local agencies to deliver the provinicial 50 Million Tree Program in the Quinte area. Funding is available to landowners willing to participate in the tree planting program. Tree seedlings need to be ordered in the fall for planting in the spring.

Trees Ontario Foundation (TOF), through the Hastings Stewardship Council, provides funding through two separate programs depending on the size of the planted area and the number of trees to be planted. To be eligible for the TOF funding programs, the planting area must be at least two acres in size with a minimum of 1,500 trees. Areas of 10 acres with a 6000 tree minimum may be eligible for increased funding of up to $1.25 per tree. Funding would be directed towards seedling purchase, planting costs, site preparation and tending.

Eligible properties must be suitable for planting trees with the landowner contributing at least 15 cents per tree, and signing a 15-year agreement that assures trees will be retained as long term forest cover. Properties must be approved by your local planting delivery agent, which in the South Hastings area is the Hastings Stewardship Council. funding is limited

Funding is limited for Trees Ontario programs and this area has an allocation of about 60,000 tree seedlings for the spring of 2009. Species are limited to white and red pine as well as white and Norway spruce. It is expected that this program will remain in place until 2020 and will support the planting of 50 million trees in Ontario.

For those landowners wishing to plant less than tow acres, and less than 1500 trees per property, native tree seedlings (conifer and hardwood) may be purchased from Quinte Conservation by contacting Alana Nunn, stewardship coordinator at (613) 968-3434 ext. 126.

In addition, each spring the municipalities of Tweed, Centre Hastings, Marmora and Lake and Stirling- Rawdon, in partnership with the Hastings Stewardship Council, provide up to 1500 native tree seedlings to residents of each community. The intent is to encourage residential tree planting around our homes and to support the establishment of long-lasting native species that will remain for generations. Look for more details of the Community Trees Program in the spring on www.harvesthastings and in the local press.

Planting trees, whether it be one ceremonial tree or a 10 acre plantation, is one of those activities that actually makes a lasting difference at the landscape and community level. What other plants do we plant that live longer than we do, grow over 80 feet in height, provide shade, clean the air, retain moisture, create wildlife habitat, provide building materials and sustain themselves indefinitely.

For more information about tree planting in South Hastings contact Jim Pedersen at (613) 478-6875. In Prince Edward County contact Andy Margetson at (613) 478-5400 or in Lennox and Addington contact Steve Pitt at (613) 531-5723. More information on TOF program.

Be sure to plan ahead as preparation of your planting site may be done this fall. Remember the best time to plant a tree is yesterday.

Jim Pedersen, Hastings Stewardship Council 613-478-6875 Hastings Stewardship Council is a non-profit organization