Healthy forests provide many important functions on our landscape. They improve air quality, surface and ground water quality, and provide wildlife habit. Large connected forests are important for maintaining good watershed conditions. Additionally, new forest growth can help mitigate climate change by creating carbon sinks that absorb more carbon than they release. Landowners can contribute to the health of our watershed by establishing and managing forest cover.
In areas with established forest cover, landowners are encouraged to manage them for health. This can include protecting them from invasive species and selectively harvesting trees.
Learn more about the forest conditions and other health indicators in your area. Click here to find your subwatershed, and then click the grades tab.
Seedling Distribution Program- 2018
Our Seedling Distribution Program is available to landowners in the Kawartha Watershed who are undertaking stewardship planting projects which will help improve forest cover and the health of our watershed. Examples include the following:
- Convert acreage into a beautiful, and ecologically diverse wilderness
- Create privacy
- Protect creeks and drainage areas
- Leave a natural legacy
- Plant windbreaks to reduce wind and water erosion
- Convert marginal lands to valuable woodlots
- Protect ground and surface water resources
- Create buffer strips along creeks and drainage areas
If you have a large scale tree planting project in mind, for example you would like to plant an area that is greater than a hectare; you may wish to contact our stewardship staff to discuss other resources that may be available to help with your project!
Selecting trees and shrubs for your property
Species selection should be based on the conditions of the planting sites, as well as your personal preferences. Please review the species information below to help you make an informed decision when ordering.
More information about species selection can be found in the "Seeds and Trees" section of the Ontario Woodlot Association website.
|Tree species||Preferred Site||Characteristics||Values|
|Suitable species for wide variety of soils - fresh to well drain. Grows in open and filtered sunlight.||Easy tree to identify by its medium length needles in bundles of five. Bark is scaly, dark grayish-brown in colour. Our tallest tree, 40m or greater in height.||Our Provincial tree. Seeds provide food for birds and small mammals.|
|Sandy soil which is well to moderately drained. Intolerant of shade, requires full sun.||Long needles in bundles of 2. Unique scaly bark colouring of reddish to pink. Up to 30m in height.||Generally considered for open field planting; marginally effective for windbreaks. When managed, produces a high value plantation product. Marginal habitat and other wildlife values on its own.|
| White Spruce
|Occurs on variety of soils, which are well to moderately drained.||Needles are bluish-green in colouring. Up to 25m height.||Effective species for windbreak planting. Seeds are an important food source for birds and small mammals.|
|Grows in variety of soils, which are well to moderately drained.||Bark colouring is reddish-brown and wrinkled to smooth texture. Up to 40m in height.||Effective species for windbreak planting. Used by bird species as nesting habitat.|
|Eastern White Cedar
|Grows best in soils which tend to be seasonally moist, but does grow in most soil moisture conditions.||Scale-like leaves, flattened, exhibiting yellowish-green colouring on both sides. Up to 15m height for small trees.||One of the more effective windbreak species. Provides bird habitat and is a food source.|
|Prefers well to moderately drained sandy soils.||Medium-large sized trees 25-40m in height. Needle-like leaves turn bright yellow before falling in autumn months.||Seeds are food source for bird species.|
|Grows in moist soils conditions, with sun or shade.||Medium-sized trees reaching 30m in height. Identified by its reddish-purple inner bark, and slender yellowish-brown twigs.||Provides habitat for birds and mammals. Effective for windbreaks.|
|Grows in well to moderately drained sandy-loam soils. Older trees intolerant of shade, younger trees moderately shade-tolerant.||Large trees 25-30m in height. Produces acorns forming cup saucer-shaped appearance.||Habitat tree, with acorns providing significant food source for wildlife.|
|Grows well on variety of soils, moderately shade tolerant.||*wilted leaves are poisonous for horses
Medium sized tree up to 25m high. Produces clusters of small red flowers in late winter to early spring.
|Provides early spring pollen for pollinator species. Producing attractive fall colours before dropping leaves in autumn.|
|Grows in well to moderately drained, loam soils. Tolerant to shade.||Large trees reaching 30m in height.||Our National tree. Attractive fall colours produced by tree before dropping leaves. Maple syrup values.|
|Shrub species||Preferred Site||Characteristics||Values|
|Highbush Cranberry Viburnum trilobum||Well-drained to moist fertile soils.||Does well in full sun but will grow in light shade. Grows up to 3 m in height.||Fruit available for songbirds from September through the winter.|
|Red Osier Dogwood
|Best suited to fertile and moist sites.||Requires full sun and will grow up to 2.5 m in height. New shoots exhibit an attractive reddish/purple colour.||Fruit is available for songbirds from August to September.|
|Will grow in any type of soil. Well-drained sites are preferred but will grow in moist conditions.||Requires full sunlight. Grows into a small tree up to 5 m in height.||Fruit available August through to winter. Songbirds and some small mammals eat the berries.|
|Damp or dry soils.||Fast growing shrub which can reach 3 m in height. Grows best in full sun.||Lacy white flowers bloom in June, followed in late summer by purple fruit relished by birds.|
|Prefers fertile and moist soils. Best suited for shorelines.||Grows in full sun and is also highly tolerant to shade. Can reach 2 – 3 m in height.||White flowers and dark blue berries when ripe in mid-summer. Provides nesting cover for waterfowl.|
|Will grow in a variety of soil types.||Grows in sun to partial shade and reaches 1 – 5 m in height. Is also drought tolerant.||White flowers and blue berries form from April to May.|
|Will grow in a wide range of soil conditions.||Grows in full sun to partial shade. Reaches 5 – 8 m in height, with a round, open crown.||White flower clusters at branch tips in spring. Highly prized by birds for delicious purple berries.|
|American Mountain Ash
|Well-drained to moist fertile soils||Full sun or light shade. Grows up to 10m in height||The bright orange berries are a favourite of birds over the winter.|
|Prefers soil that is constantly moist.||Thrives in swampy conditions and damp shorelines. Grows best in full sun. Can reach 3 m in height.||Very distinct white round blossoms in July, followed by unique round seed heads. Waterfowl and other shorebirds consume seeds.|
Seedling Distribution Program 2018
Order forms must be returned to Kawartha Conservation by March 31, 2018.
Seedling pickup is April 27 and 28, 2018.
This year we are happy to provide two pickup locations for your convenience. On your form you will be asked to indicate your preferred pickup location.
Complete the 2018 Order Form Here, or drop by the Kawartha Conservation Adminitration Centre to pick up a copy.
Tree planting and care information
- Choosing the right tree
- Tips for handling and planting nursery stock (PDF, 184 KB)
- Links to forestry Extension Notes
Managing forests information
- The Landowner's Guide to Controlling Invasive Woodland Plants
- A Landowner's Guide to Managing and Controlling Invasive Plants in Ontario
- Ontario Woodlot Association Publications