By Cecilia Nasmith
Spring may be weeks away, but the County of Northumberland reminds residents that now is the time to apply to obtain free tree saplings from the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority as part of the county's Emerald Ash Borer Replacement Tree Program.
All 2019 orders are due by March 31, the press release said, with pick-up in the spring at the GRCA's Port Hope location.
The county is subsidizing this five-year program, which is available to all Northumberland residents. Each resident may order between 10 and 500 trees to plant on private property.
“Through this program, we will subsidize 12,000 trees annually, for a total of 60,000 trees throughout the duration of the program,” county forest manager Todd Farrell said in the bulletin.
“This program will help us increase our community's natural diversity through the planting of native species that will thrive in our local ecosystem.”
This program is designed to replace trees that are being removed a part of the county's 10-year plan to remove and replace hazardous trees – a response to the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive boring insect that attacks and kills ash trees.
To prevent injury or damage from falling trees, the county is removing ash trees that are more than 10 cm. in diameter from county rights-of-way until 2028. For each ash tree removed under the program, the county will subsidize approximately 10 native trees for residents to plant on private property.
GRCA stewardship technician Pam Lancaster said that this program is a great opportunity for Northumberland residents to access native tree saplings.
“Planting a tree sapling is a great way to enhance your property, while supporting the ecological vitality of our community,” Lancaster commented.
For more information about the program and to apply to receive free saplings, visit www.grca.on.ca/programs-stewardship.
For more information about the Emerald Ash Borer and our EAB Management Plan, please visit www.northumberlandcounty.ca/EABplan.