Ash tree removals continue in Oakville’s woodlands

Temporary trail closures expected

Chain saw in front of a stack of logs
Ash tree removals continue in Oakville’s woodlands
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Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw is the Manager of Corporate Communication for the town of Oakville since 2002. Prior to working for the town she worked for Halton Region as a communications specialist. She is a graduate of Humber College.

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On Monday, February 29, 2016 the town will begin year two of the Woodlands Hazard Abatement program to remove ash trees killed by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) from the town’s woodlands. The town is removing dead and dying ash trees from all of the town’s woodlands to ensure long-term public safety.

“Council is committed to protecting and growing Oakville’s green space,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Maintaining the long-term health and safety of our woodlots, as well as growing our forest canopy are key to delivering on this commitment.”

The best time for tree removals is while the ground is hard enough for equipment to maneuver in the trails. Over the next few weeks, as weather and ground conditions permit, removals will begin in Taplow Creek Trail, Shell Park, and Nautical Woods. A portion of the trails will be closed while the work is carried out. A map of all properties in the 2016 program is available on the town’s website.

In keeping with best forest management practices, the town will also remove some trees other than ash that are identified as structurally unsound or are compromising the health of the forest. During tree removals, residents can expect to see and hear heavy machinery and see temporary piles of logs on the side of streets as they are gathered for removal. Some branches and wood debris are left on the forest floor to breakdown, nourish the soil, and help the forest regrow.

The town has developed a long-term forest management plan to restore the woodlands, using a combination of natural regeneration, enhanced regeneration, and replanting.

While the woodlands will look messy for some time, leaving wood debris behind is a natural process and is part of good forest management practices. The town had a similar scenario at Iroquois Shoreline Woods (ISW) in 2003. Today, anyone would be surprised to learn that only a decade ago, the ISW forest lost 80 per cent of its oak trees. Where you would have seen cut trees and branches on the forest floor, now you see the forest has come back to life.

Residents interested in taking part in future planting events or wish to become a volunteer Forest Health Ambassador, may register by emailing canopyclub@oakville.ca.

More information on the town’s EAB management program is available on the Trees and Woodlands page at oakville.ca.


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