Congratulations to the Municipality of Clarington on planting genuine native maples, where appropriate, for years. We look forward to continuing MLF’s involvement. They sent us this information for our readers:
“Trees for Rural Roads” was created by the Municipality of Clarington in co-operation with Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority and Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority for the rural residents of Clarington (the former townships of Clarke and Darlington). The Municipality of Clarington has a rich history of tree planting in Ontario. The former Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Orono Forestry Station provided between 5 and 7 million seedlings for planting throughout Ontario during its years of operation. The Ganaraska Reforestation Program is also a prominent part of our history; the Ganaraska Forest is the largest source of forestry products in the Clarington.
In the middle and late 19th century, farmers planted native maples taken from their woodlots along their property edges and on their lane ways. In the 1870s, the Ontario Government provided incentives to farmers should they plant roadsides with trees from their woodlots. The majority of trees planted were maples. This gave rise to an important element in the rural landscape-lines of stately maples alongside roads and separating farmer’s fields. The legacy of maple trees is embedded in many people’s memories and part of the rural aesthetic.
The Ontario Legislature passed an act in 1871 to encourage the planting of trees on “highways”. Municipalities were to pay landowners up to $0.25 per tree for trees planted along the roads. Trees from this era (or soon after) line many of our rural roads today. These century (and older) trees are now succumbing to old age, exposure to wind, insects and disease.
The Trees for Rural Roads was prompted by concern for loss of the tree canopy along our countryside roadways. The TRR program targets all rural residents, farm and non-farm. Its purpose is to under-plant existing mature street trees along our rural roads with young native trees (whips, not caliper size) . The trees provided through this program are purchased by the Municipality, the program is administered by the Conservation Authority staff, the land owners apply for, pick-up, plant and maintain the whips.
Maple Leaves Forever assisted with the funding of native maple trees used in this program in 2013 and again in 2014. Maples are amongst the most requested trees; however, some soils that are better suited for other varieties. Landowners have a choice of a number of native tree species, coniferous and deciduous. To date, the Municipality has distributed over 700 trees annually under the TRR program with just under 50% of them being native maples. The funding received from MLF supplements municipal funding, meaning more trees are available to rural residents and rural roadsides benefit from tree planting to restore the majestic tree lined canopy or our countryside.
If you have questions about the TRR program please contact: Faye Langmaid firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager of Special Projects
Planning Services Department
The Municipality of Clarington