SSEA digging in for seedling pre-order rush

SSEA digging in for seedling pre-order rush

As part of federal 2 Billion Trees program, over 9,000 seedlings pre-ordered with limited quantities still available ahead of January 13 deadline, says Severn Sound Environmental Association wetlands biologist

Anyone wanting to get their fingers dirty in the action to reverse climate change might want to consider planting some new trees.

The Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) recently announced that their annual tree planting initiatives were ready for the new year, with a seedling pre-order deadline of Friday, Jan. 13.

While the SSEA had been organizing large tree plants since the 1990s, wetlands and habitat biologist Michelle Hudolin said that the tree seeding distribution program offered to property owners in Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny, Tay, Severn, and the SSEA watershed portions of the Townships of Oro-Medonte, Springwater and Georgian Bay had been ongoing since 2007.

“We have had very good response to the program so far with more than 9,000 seedlings ordered for spring 2023, and there is strong demand for some species,” said Hudolin. “We have limited quantities of seedlings available but will accommodate as many orders as we can and we are maintaining a waiting list for any sold-out species.”

A bundle of ten trees will cost $17 for red pine or tamarack, or $19 for white pine, white spruce, white cedar, red oak, red/silver maple hybrid, black walnut, or red-osier dogwood (shrub); taxes are included.

These costs were reduced from previous years as a result of the federal 2 Billion Trees funding, an initiative tackling both climate change and biodiversity loss across Canada; the SSEA received over $276,000 through the funding for their tree seeding distribution program in addition to their community tree planting program.

“We have many long-time participants who purchase and plant trees regularly, and we also typically gain some newcomers to the program each year,” said Hudolin.

“There are many great reasons for people to plant trees, and we have a variety of participants with properties of varying sizes; some people are planting a small number of seedlings on an urban lot or at a cottage property for shade or wildlife, others are planting larger numbers of trees in rural areas for reforestation.”

Hudolin added that planting a tree is reliant on forethought and planning. Selecting a species suited to the particular soil and sunlight of a site, ensuring space for growth, and providing after-care through watering and weeding would improve the tree’s survival.

“In our experience, participants in the tree distribution program are typically very eager to plant and look after their trees. We have had some participants that don’t want a full bundle of 10 trees for themselves, so they share the rest with neighbours, family and friends.

“Although caring for the trees is ultimately the responsibility of the participant, we provide information and resources to support them,” said Hudolin.

The reason for pre-ordering in January for a pick-up to be determined in late April or early May, according to Hudolin, is due to the vulnerability of the seedlings. Harvested dormant as bare-root in early spring with a limited amount of moisture and nutrients, the best chance for survival is to have them planted as quickly as possible.

As a component of the 2 Billion Trees funding, Hudolin stated that the SSEA would be developing a comprehensive plan that would look to increase the organization’s capacity for tree planting, including ways to monitor seedling survival over longer periods of time.

Full details on the tree distribution program – including an eligibility map, a species selection guide, site preparation information, and tree planting tips – are available on the Severn Sound Environmental Association website.

To inquire about eligibility for the program or for further information, contact the SSEA at (705) 534-7283 or through its website.

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