Group begins inventory of trees

It is well known that Wellington County not only has fewer trees than it should have, but also that the county has been busy trying to rectify that problem for the past five years with its Green Leg­acy.

But while that program has placed nearly one million trees in the ground and is growing over 100,000 seedlings a year at its Puslinch Township green­houses, NeighbourWoods, bas­ed in Elora, sees a small problem that it would like to rectify.

Toni Ellis said Neighbour­Woods is hoping to begin a tree inventory in Centre Wellington so everyone will know what is here – and what might be needed.

NeighbourWoods is a branch of the Elora Centre for Environmental Excellence.  Its goal is to help rebuild Centre Wellington’s urban tree canopy by tree planting, stewardship, public education, and advocacy about the need for and value of trees in the community.

Ellis said communities such as Mitchell, Dundas, and even Toronto neighbourhoods are doing such inventories and she believes it should be done here, too.

Teams of volunteers, work­ing in pairs, will visit desig­nated areas in the community and take notes on the trees they find there. They will measure diameters, types, crown cover, and height among other things, and all the facts will be re­cord­ed and later become computer data so a profile of the trees in the community is developed.

Ellis said that knowledge can help tree planters, and said that, for example, if 75% of all the trees in the township are sugar maples, perhaps people should stop planting those and start planting other native spe­cies.

Ellis said the program is a long term one, and it will start with three areas of Fergus, and three more in Elora. There will be tree counts in an older sec­tion of each town, a heritage section, and a new section.

Volunteers will be trained on how to go about their work, and the teachers will be the Grand River Conservation Authority’s Nathan Munn, and Andy Kenney, a professor at the University of Toronto who developed the program.

Ellis called Kenney “the guru of urban trees.” She said he lives in Guelph and will be a big aid to the project.

On May 25, there will be a meeting at the Elora Curling Club for anyone interested in hearing more about the project. It will run from 7 to 8pm and act as an introduction to the tree inventory program.

Then, on June 12, a Friday, and all next day, volunteers will get the training they need to carry out their inventories in various parts of the com­mu­nities.

All are welcome to attend. For more information about NeighbourWoods, call the ECEE at 519-846-0841.