Forests Ontario, a not-for-profit organization, has planted a record number of trees in the Timiskaming region this year, and organization officials say plenty of opportunities are still available for tree planting in 2022.
In total, Forests Ontario’s partners have planted nearly 170,000 trees in the region through the 50 Million Tree Program (50 MTP), with more than 68,000 taking root in 2021 alone.
Since 2008, Forests Ontario has facilitated the planting of more than 34 million trees across Ontario through the 50 MTP.
The 50 MTP makes tree planting easier and more affordable across the province by providing technical and financial assistance. “Once eligible landowners apply to the program, we connect them to a local planting partner to create and carry out a site plan that suits their property and objectives,” said Rob Keen, Registered Professional Forester and CEO of Forests Ontario. “By connecting them with experienced forestry professionals and significantly reducing the cost of tree planting, the 50 MTP is a unique opportunity for those looking to green their properties.”
Another aspect which sets the program apart is the emphasis it places upon long-term monitoring and survival. “It’s important to Forests Ontario that the seedlings we plant grow into healthy forests. That’s why we monitor tree health the first few years after planting,” explained Keen. A recent study by Natural Resources Canada found that more than 83 per cent of trees planted under the 50 MTP are thriving on the landscape.
Planting trees supports a myriad of environmental, economic, and social benefits, including the creation of wildlife habitat, improved soil quality, increased property value, enhanced opportunities for recreation (such as hiking and snowshoeing), and climate change mitigation. Additionally, landowners with a minimum of four hectares (9.88 acres) or more of forested land may be able to take advantage of Ontario’s Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program, which offers up to 75% reduction on property taxes for eligible portions of the property.
Applicants must have space for at least 500 trees in order to qualify for the 50 MTP. For those with smaller lots, Forests Ontario’s Over-The-Counter program offers trees at a discounted rate.
To get trees planted in 2022, visit www.forestsontario.ca/en/program/50-million-treeprogram. For more information on Forests Ontario’s tree planting programs, contact Hayley Murray, Forestry Operations Coordinator, at (416) 646-1193 ext. 222.
As of June, 2019, the 50 MTP is supported by the Government of Canada, corporate sponsors, and donors.