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Volunteers with South Nation Conservation worked to plant thousands of trees from the Forests Ontario 50 Million Tree Project throughout Prescott-Russell this spring, including at this site in East Hawkesbury. Photo by Reid Masson

Landowners invited to apply now for 2022 Forests Ontario tree seedlings

Landowners in Prescott-Russell are invited to apply for tree seedlings to be planted on their properties in the spring of 2022 through Forests Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program (50 MTP).

The not-for-profit organization has been working with partners across the province to plant millions of seedlings each spring. In the boundaries of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell alone, 79,800 seedlings were planted during May and April of 2021 with the help of South Nation Conservation (SNC).

With all of the trees now planted for 2021, Forests Ontario and the SNC are inviting landowners to apply for seedlings from the 50 MTP program to be planted in 2022. Staff at the SNC recommend sending in applications as soon as possible to be able to ensure a site visit in 2021, which will be used to complete a plan for the property.

“We have to submit the plan and the seedlings that we want to Forests Ontario before February,” noted Caroline Goulet, a forester with the SNC.

Most landowners who apply for the program are accepted as long as their property can take a minimum quantity of 500 seedlings. Landowners must also have a minimum of one acre of property.

Once they have registered for the Forests Ontario 50 MTP, staff from South Nation Conservation will contact the landowner to set up a meeting on the property. Forestry technicians assess the land to determine soil type, drainage, topography, competitive vegetation, as well as the landowner’s objectives for the site.

The information is then used to come up with a list of suitable species for the property. A site plan and project map is also created for approval by the property owner. Once all the information is complete, the plan is submitted to Forests Ontario for approval and confirmation of funding and the trees are reserved at local nurseries.

While Forests Ontario provides funding for the seedlings there is a minimal cost for each seedling charged to the landowner, which is subject to change each year. For 2021, the cost was 25 cents per conifer and 55 cents per hardwood seedling.

Anyone who wishes to apply to be added to the waiting list for the 2022 tree planting season can visit www.forestsontario.ca/en/program/50-million-tree-program, or contact the SNC through its website https://www.nation.on.ca/ .

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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