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Skip Navigation LinksSimcoe County > Departments > Forestry > Resources


​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Forestry Department maintains and manages the forest health and forest operations within the Simcoe County Forest and does not offer private land consultation. 

Stewardship of private land forests is the responsibility of the private landowner who can find assistance from numerous sources including the resources and links below. 



ReforestationReforestation<p><span></span>The County of Simcoe does not provide tree planting services directly to residents, however funds are provided to reduce the cost of reforestation programs which are delivered by area partners.  Available funds are focused upon increasing tree cover in high priority areas such as marginal farmlands and along stream corridors; as such the subsidy level varies depending upon the type of land to be planted and the environmental benefit provided.<br><br>Interested landowners should <a href="http://www.conservation-ontario.on.ca/about-us/conservation-authorities/ca-contact-list" target="_blank">contact their local Conservation Authority</a> or stewardship association directly to determine eligibility and program details:<br></p><ul><li><a href="http://www.nvca.on.ca/" target="_blank">Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority</a></li><li><a href="http://www.lsrca.on.ca/" target="_blank">Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority</a></li><li><a href="http://www.forestsontario.ca/" target="_blank">Forests Ontario</a></li><li><a href="http://www.severnsound.ca/Pages/Home.aspx" target="_blank">Severn Sound Environmental Association</a></li></ul>
Woodlot ManagementWoodlot Management<p>​​​​​​​​County Forest staff manage County Forest lands and do not provide private land forestry.  Landowners are encouraged to contact a forestry professional to assist with making forest management decisions.  </p><p>Many landowners may be able to get a tax incentive on forested properties through the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP).</p><p>Please see the links below for more information:<br></p><div><a href="https://www.ontariowoodlot.com/woodland-101">Ontario Woodlot Association</a>   <br>Organization of private forest landown​ers.​<br></div><div><br></div><div><a href="http://www.lrconline.com/Extension_Notes_English/index.html" target="_blank">Landowner Resource Centre</a><br>Fact sheets and publications for landowners and land managers.<br><br></div><div><a title="link to Forests Ontario website" href="http://www.forestsontario.ca/" target="_blank" style="font-size:1em;">Forests Ontario</a></div><div><span style="font-size:1em;">I</span><span style="font-size:1em;">nformation about tree planting and woodlot management.</span></div><p> <a title="link to Ontario Professional Foresters Association Website" href="http://www.opfa.ca/node/1" target="_blank">Ontario Professional Foresters Association</a> <br>A professional forester can offer a wide range of services from tree planting to harvesting.  </p><p></p><p> <a title="link to website of Certified Ontario Tree Markers" href="https://treemarking.com/" target="_blank">Certified Ontario Tree Markers</a><br>Certified Tree Markers are certified through the province to follow tree marking prescriptions prepared by a Professional Forester prior to harvest operations.<br></p><p> <a title="link to information about the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program" href="https://www.ontariowoodlot.com/MFTIP" target="_blank">Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program</a><br>Forest properties in Ontario greater than 4 hectares (approximately 10 acres) can be eligible for a reduction in property taxes through this program.<br></p><p><a href="https://www.huroniawoodlandowners.ca/" target="_blank">Huronia Woodland Owners Association​</a> </p><p><span style="font-size:1em;">R</span><span style="font-size:1em;">epr</span><span style="font-size:1em;">esenting local woo​dland owners for over​ </span><span style="font-size:1em;">50 years.</span></p><p> <a title="link to International Society of Aboriculture" href="http://www.isa-arbor.com/" target="_blank">International Society of Arboriculture</a> <br>Certified arborists are trained to care for the health of individual trees.<br></p><p><br></p><p> <br> </p>
Invasive PlantsInvasive Plants<p>Most are familiar with the threats posed to our environment by exotic invaders such as zebra mussels, purple loose strife, and more recently giant hogweed, however there are other invasive exotic species which are seriously threatening our County Forests.  In fact, many resource professionals and naturalists consider invasive exotic species to be the most serious threat to the long-term integrity and biodiversity of woodlands in Southern Ontario.</p><p>Of particular concern locally are four non-native species: garlic mustard, dog-strangling vine, Manitoba maple, and common or glossy buckthorn.  Unfortunately, the increasing level of recreational use is leading to additional accidental introductions.  To help us control the spread, PLEASE:<br></p><ul><li>stay on the trails;</li><li>clean your boots or tires before and after visiting the County Forests;</li><li>never discard plants or yard waste in the County Forests;</li><li>learn to identify invasive plants and advise forestry staff if you are aware of an introduction.</li></ul><h4>To report invasive species please visit:</h4><p><a href="http://www.eddmaps.org/Ontario/" target="_blank">Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System</a></p><p><a href="http://www.invadingspecies.com/report/" target="_blank">Invading Species Hotline</a></p><h4>For more information please visit:</h4><p><a href="http://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/" target="_blank">Ontario Invasive Plant Council</a><br></p><p><a href="http://www.invasivespeciescentre.ca/" target="_blank">Invasive Species Centre</a><br><br></p>
Spongy MothSpongy Moth<div><div aria-labelledby="ctl00_PlaceHolderMain_ctl04_label" style="display:inline;"><p> <span style="font-size:1em;">​​​​Spongy Moth (previously called European Gypsy Moth or by it's scientific name Lymantria Dispar dispar/LDD) is a non – native invasive insect from Europe that was brought to North America in the 1860's. First introduced to Massachusetts, it had spread to Ontario by 1969 causing it's first widespread defoliation event in the province by 1981.</span></p><p>Spongy Moth larvae (caterpillars) feeds on a wide range of deciduous and coniferous trees.  They prefer oak, birch, poplar and willow trees but will also feed on maple, beech, elm, pine, spruce and fir.  During the larval (feeding) stage of the lifecycle in late May and June, substantial defoliation of trees may occur during peak years. The larvae pupate in late June to early July and emerge as adults in late July to early August.  Only the larval stage of Spongy Moth feeds on leaves.  <br></p><p>​​<img src="/Forestry/PublishingImages/Pages/LDD/LDD%20Lifecycle.JPG" alt="LDD Lifecycle.JPG" style="margin:5px;width:620px;height:527px;" /><br><br></p><p>​Populations of this species are cyclical with population surges approximately every 7-10 years. When populations rapidly rise, they are historically followed by a crash.  This population crash is due to mortality from a host specific virus or fungus. <br></p><p>  <img src="/Forestry/PublishingImages/Pages/LDD/LDD%20Graph.jpg" alt="LDD Graph.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:620px;height:359px;" /><br><br></p><p>A population increase was observed in parts of Simcoe County in 2019 and widespread defoliation was evident throughout many parts of Ontario in 2020.  Insect damage continued to be seen in many areas in 2021.  <br></p><p>Simcoe County has completed egg mass sampling in 2019, 2020 and 2021.  Egg mass surveys count the overwintering egg masses of the species to help forecast the population potential the following year.  Egg mass surveys were completed in 2021 with a total of 84 survey plots in 37 different county forests.  Defoliation forecasting for 2022 from these egg mass surveys forecasted 11% of plo​​​ts could see severe defoliation, 35% of plots could see moderate defoliation and 54% of plots c​ould see light to no defoliation.   The presence​​ of <span style="color:#202124;font-family:arial, sans-serif;">Nucleopolyhedrosis virus</span> (NPV) and/or Entomophaga maimaiga fungus were noted in most survey plots and insect mortality was noted.  These pathogens are important in the​​ collapse of the population.<br></p><p>In 2022 it was evident that the Spongy Moth population collapse had occurred in most parts of Simcoe County. In 2022, there were very few new Spongy Moth egg masses observed and little defoliation due to spongy moth​. <br></p><p>The Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNDMNRF) completes annual forest health monitoring and provides provincial updates.  The most recent Spongy Moth map from the MND​MNRF is available <a href="https://www.ontario.ca/files/2023-02/mnrf-defoliation-mapspongy-moth-EN-1200x927-2023-02-14.jpg" target="_blank">here.</a>  <span style="font-size:1em;">​</span></p><p> <span style="font-size:1em;">Stress to defoliated trees will occur, and mortality to some deciduous trees may result after several successive years of defoliation. Severe defoliation of coniferous trees may result in mortality after just one season. However, as population levels typically collapse back to low densities within 1-3 years of outbreak, no substantive or long-lasting impacts to overall forest health has resulted historically.<br></span></p><p> <span style="font-size:1em;">It is recognized that Spongy Moth outbreaks represen​t a significant nuisance factor to affected residents, and the potential for any tree mortality on private property is impactful and concerning to landowners.</span><span style="font-size:1em;">​  Maintaining healthy trees and forests is an important defense against Spongy Moth.​  Residents are remained that the care and maintenance of privately owned trees is the responsibility of the landowner.  </span></p><p> <span style="font-size:1em;">For residents or landowners wanting to manage Spongy Moth impacts,  several resources are available below.</span></p><p>​For further information, please visit:​<br></p><p> <a href="http://www.invadingspecies.com/invaders/forest/ldd-moth/" target="_blank">Spongy Moth - Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program</a>​<br></p><p> <a href="https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/gypsymothinwisconsin/pest-management-2/management-guide-for-homeowners/" target="_blank" style="color:#000000;">Home​owners Management Guide to European Gypsy Moth</a><br></p><p> <a href="https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/gypsymothinwisconsin/pest-management-2/management-guide-for-woodlot-owners/" target="_blank">Landowners Management Guide to Spongy Moth</a> </p><p> <a href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/gypsy-moth" target="_blank">Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry - Spongy Moth</a></p><p>To contact a Certified Arborist or Professional Forester, please visit:<br></p><p> <a href="https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist" target="_blank">International Society of Arboriculture​</a><br></p><p> <a href="https://opfa.ca/contact-us/membership-directory/#%21directory" target="_blank">Ontario Profes​​​s​ional Foresters Association​</a>​<br><br><br></p></div></div><div> <a class="testing" href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=bcdf52be-33c9-4677-9475-11d95d88f53f" target="_blank">Resources for Landowners</a>​<br></div><p>​​​<br>​<br>​<br></p>
Emerald Ash BorerEmerald Ash Borer<p>​​​​​The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in an invasive insect originating from Asia.  It was first discovered in North America in the Detroit and Windsor area in 2002.  The insect infects and kills ash trees<span style="font-size:1em;">.  Since its introduction </span><span style="font-size:1em;">in 2002, it has </span><span style="font-size:1em;">sprea</span><span style="font-size:1em;">d</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> throughout much of</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and parts of </span><span style="font-size:1em;">Manitoba.  EAB is also present in nearly all US states east of Colorado.  EAB has caused the </span><span style="font-size:1em;">death of tens of millions of trees in North America.</span></p><p>The pest was first discovered in southern Simcoe County in 2013.  By 2018, the insect was widespread throughout much of Simcoe County.  </p><h3> <span lang="EN-US">What does it do?</span></h3><p>The larvae of the Emerald Ash Borer feed on the living tissue below the bark of an ash tree called the cambium.  These feeding galleries disrupt the flow of nutrients and water within the tree causing crown die back, epicormic shoots, peeling bark and death in as little as 1-2 years.  The insect attacks and kills ash trees of all sizes and ages.  It kills 99% of trees which it infects. </p><h3> <span lang="EN-US">Pest Biology and Identification<img class="ms-rteImage-2 ms-rtePosition-2" alt="Emerald Ash Borer" src="/Forestry/PublishingImages/Emerald%20Ash%20Borer/EAB%20ID.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:176px;height:154px;" /></span></h3><p>The Emerald Ash borer is a wood boring beetle that is 8-14mm long (5/16" to 9/16 ").  It is bright metallic green with a coppery-reddish or purple colour to the abdomen.  </p><p>Adult beetles emerge from under the bark of ash trees from May to August.  After emergence the adults feed for approximately one week then<img class="ms-rtePosition-2 ms-rteImage-2" alt="Marking in wood from emerald ash borer" src="/Forestry/PublishingImages/Emerald%20Ash%20Borer/Feeding%20Galleries.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:150px;height:227px;" /> commence mating.  A female then lays 40-70 very small eggs in a crevice or fold in the bark of an ash tree.  The eggs hatch within 2 weeks and the new larvae bore into the tree where they feed on the cambium (living tissue underneath the bark).  The larvae feed under the bark producing serpentine or S-shaped feeding galleries until fall.  They then excavate a chamber in the bark or sapwood where they overwinter.  The larvae then pupate and emerge as adults the following spring by burrowing out of the tree and through the bark, leaving a distinct D-shaped exit hole.</p><h3> <span lang="EN-US">Privately Owned Trees: What Can I do?</span><span lang="EN-US">  </span><span lang="EN-US">  </span></h3><p>Most landowners will have two choices when considering the future of an Ash tree.  The tree can be given protection against the insect by treating with an insecticide.  Otherwise most trees not protected will eventually die. It is the responsibility landowners to manage trees on their own property.<img class="ms-rteImage-2 ms-rtePosition-2" alt="treeazin helping save tree" src="/Forestry/PublishingImages/Emerald%20Ash%20Borer/TreeAzin.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p>There are several products available to treat ash trees and increase survival.  TreeAzin is injected by a li​cen​sed applicator into the base of the tree on a 1 or 2 year cycle and can provide protection against tree mortality from the insect.  The pesticide is only effective on trees that are not yet infected or at early stages of infection from EAB.  Treating trees with an insecticide may be a financially sound option for landowners considering values including aesthetics, home heating and cooling, land values and privacy. </p><p>If trees are not treated to protect against the insect they can die fast and become hazardous.  If you think your tree is infected or would like to have it removed contact a tree care professional to discuss treatment or removal options.  Pre-emptive removals of trees that will die from EAB can be safer and more economical than the removal of dead trees that are not structurally sound.<br></p><p>See the links below for further information:</p><p> <a title="link to information to help identify ash trees" href="http://www.invasiveinsects.ca/eab/ashID_h.html" target="_blank">How do I identify an ash tree?</a></p><p> <a title="link to information about infested ash trees" href="http://www.invasiveinsects.ca/eab/detection.html" target="_blank">Signs a tree is infested</a>​<br></p><p> <a title="link to find a certified arbourist" href="http://www.isa-arbor.com/findanarborist/arboristsearch.aspx?utm_source=homepageclicks&utm_medium=homepagebox&utm_campaign=IAmA" target="_blank">List of Certified Arborists</a>​<br></p><p> <a title="link to information about TreeAzin" href="https://bioforest.ca/en/canada/product-details/treeazin-systemic-insecticide/" target="_blank">TreeAzin Insecticide</a></p><p> <a title="Link to a brochure with information about hiring a tree care professional" href="/Forestry/Documents/hiring%20tree%20care%20services%20brochure.pdf" target="_blank">Hiring a Tree Care Professional</a></p><h3 class="ms-rteElement-H3B"> <span lang="EN-US">Woodlot Owners or Landowners of Larger Properties</span></h3><p>Owners or managers of privately owned woodlands and larger properties containing ash trees are encouraged to contact a forestry professional​​​​.  There are options to mitigating damages and reduce financial and ecological losses. <br></p><p> <a title="link to a landowners guide to preparing for Emerald Ash Borer" href="/Forestry/Documents/woodlot-management-for-eab.pdf" target="_blank">Preparing for Emerald Ash Borer - A Landowners Guide</a></p><p> <a title="link to a list of forestry consultants" href="http://www.opfa.ca/consultants-list" target="_blank">Finding a Forestry Professional</a></p> <h3> <span lang="EN-US">Regulation and Disposal of Ash Materials</span></h3><p>Since the confirmation of Emerald Ash Borer within the County of Simcoe, the area has come under ministerial orders from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regarding the movement of certain woody materials.</p><p>There are prohibitions and regulations restricting the movement of nursery stock, trees, logs, lumber, leaves, bark chips and wood chips of all ash species and regulations that restrict the movement of ALL firewood species.  </p><p>Regulated materials may not be moved out of a regulated area into a non-regulated area without a movement certificate issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.</p><p> <a title="link to information about buying and burning firewood" href="http://inspection.gc.ca/plants/forestry/firewood/eng/1330963478693/1330963579986" target="_blank">Why should I buy and burn firewood locally?</a></p><p> <a title="link to a map showing the current regulatede areas for Emerald Ash Borer in Canada" href="http://inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-protection/insects/emerald-ash-borer/areas-regulated/eng/1347625322705/1367860339942" target="_blank">Emerald Ash Borer Regulated Area</a></p><h3> <span lang="EN-US">What is The County of Simcoe Doing?</span></h3><p>The County of Simcoe owns and manages over 33,000 acres of forest.  Since the mid 2000's forest managers have monitored the progression of EAB throughout Ontario.  When it became apparent that the insect would eventually spread into Simcoe County, forest management activities were modified to mitigate the loss of this tree species from the Simcoe County Forest landscape.  </p><p>The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) had monitored for the pest in Simcoe County from the mid 2000's until 2013.  Once the pest was found in Simcoe in 2013, the county became regulated for the pest and the CFIA no longer monitored its spread in Simcoe County.  In 2014, the county began its own program to monitor the spread of the insect and provide information to local municipalities and residents.  Monitoring continued until 2017 when EAB was found to be widespread throughout the county.<br></p><p>A strategic plan was prepared and approved by council in 2014 to provide information and options for Emerald Ash Borer Management to County and Municipal staff and to provide information for residents.<br></p><p>The Transportation and Engineering department is responsible for the maintenance of County Roads.  A preliminary survey of roadside hazardous ash trees has been completed and removals of hazardous trees are being completed as required.</p><p> <a href="/Forestry/Documents/EAB%20REPORT-FINAL_25Feb14.pdf">A Strategic Plan to Manage the Emerald Ash Borer in Simcoe County</a><br></p>
Hemlock Woolly AdelgidHemlock Woolly Adelgid<p><strong style="font-size:1em;">​​​What is it?</strong><br></p><p>Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is a tiny non-native insect that can infest and kill Eastern Hemlock trees. It does this by attaching to the branches and feeding on the base of the needles, extracting sap and nutrients. Eastern Hemlock trees are native to Ontario and provide valuable habitat for wildlife. </p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/Forestry/PublishingImages/Hemlock%20Wooly%20Adelgid%20Chris%20Evans,%20University%20of%20Illinois,%20Bugwood.org.jpg" class="ms-rteImage-3" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><img alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:center;">Image above is an early Hemlock Woolly Adelgid infestation, showing “woolly" egg sacs. </p><p style="text-align:center;">Photo credit: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org</p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong style="font-size:1em;"><br></strong></p><p style="text-align:left;"><strong style="font-size:1em;">How to identify Eastern Hemlock</strong></p><ul><li>The Eastern Hemlock tree is a conifer tree that produces small cones, approximately 1 inch long. </li><li>The needles on the tree are on average ½ inch long, dark green on top and two white lines on the underside.</li><li>Mature Eastern Hemlock has bark that is reddish brown with wide ridges that form flat flakey plates. </li><li>A specie that has a similar appearance when young is Balsam fir. A good way to tell the difference between the two is: Balsam fir needles are on average 1" long, which is twice the length of Eastern hemlock needles. Also, mature balsam fir has smooth grey bark with resin blisters.<br></li></ul><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:100%;"><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/Forestry/PublishingImages/Hemlock%20Bark%202023%20Hodgson%20Tract.jpg" class="ms-rteImage-3" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:199px;height:259px;" /><img src="/Forestry/PublishingImages/Hemlock%20Forest%202023%20Hodgson%20Tract.jpg" class="ms-rteImage-3" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:199px;height:259px;" />​<img alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><img alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></p><p style="text-align:center;"><span style="font-size:1em;">Eastern hemlock bark (left</span><span style="font-size:1em;">) and Eastern hemlock forest stand (right)</span><br></p><p style="text-align:center;">Photo Credit: County of Simcoe Forestry</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><strong> </strong></p><p style="text-align:center;"></p><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:100%;"><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/Forestry/PublishingImages/Hemlock%20Needles%20TOP%202023%20Hodgson%20Tract.jpg" class="ms-rteImage-3" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:199px;height:261px;" /><img src="/Forestry/PublishingImages/Hemlock%20Needles%20BOTTOM%202023%20Hodgson%20Tract.jpg" class="ms-rteImage-3" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:198px;height:261px;" />​<br></p><p style="text-align:center;">Eastern hemlock topside of needles (left) an​d underside of needles (right)</p><p style="text-align:center;">Photo Credit: County of Simcoe Forestry<br><br></p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><strong>Detecting Hemlock Woolly Adelgid </strong></p><p>You can check hemlock branches, either low in the tree or ones found on the ground. Look at the underside of the branches to see if there are any white waxy woolly sacs where the needle meets the twig (not on the needle). </p><p>Along with the woolly sacs, you can monitor hemlock trees, looking for signs of an infestation. This may include:</p><ul><li>Dieback of twigs and branches and needle loss</li><li>Discolouration (such as​ yellow, orange or red) of the foliage</li><li>Death in as little as 4-15 years</li></ul><p> </p><p><strong>Where is it?</strong></p><ul><li>Hemlock woolly adelgid has NOT been found in the County of Simcoe. </li><li>The first detection in the United States occurred in the 1950's. The insect is currently established in the United States, specifically along the eastern coast. </li><li>There have been several populations detected in Ontario since 2013, the two most recent being a population in Grafton confirmed in 2022 and a population at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington in 2023. </li></ul><p> </p><p><strong>What can you do?</strong></p><ul><li>Monitor Eastern hemlock trees</li><li>Do not hang bird feeders in or around Hemlock trees</li><li>If planting Hemlock trees, ensure you inspect the tree for Hemlock woolly adelgid before planting</li><li>Buy firewood sourced from local forests</li><li>Report any suspected sightings, even if you are unsure if it is Hemlock woolly adelgid</li></ul><p> </p><p> <strong>Where to Report it?</strong></p><p style="text-align:center;"><a href="https://inspection.canada.ca/plant-health/invasive-species/stop-the-spread/eng/1655945133110/1655945931559" target="_blank">The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)</a> <br></p><p style="text-align:center;">or</p><p style="text-align:center;"><a href="https://www.eddmaps.org/" target="_blank">EDDMapS</a> <br></p><p> <br></p><p>This information was gathered from the Invasive Species Centre website. For more information on hemlock woolly adelgid, visit <a href="https://www.invasivespeciescentre.ca/invasive-species/meet-the-species/invasive-insects/hemlock-woolly-adelgid/" target="_blank">the Inva​sive Species Centre website.</a><br></p><p>​<br><br></p>