Steps identified to ensure Mono forest longevity

March 30, 2023   ·   0 Comments


Mono has a plan to ensure the health of its forests.

Town council adopted the 2022-2041 Forest Management Plan when it met on Mar. 28.

Michael Dunmore, Mono’s public works director, said staff worked with Cedar Creek Forestry Services last year to ink the new plan.

“I think it’s a great read,” Dunmore said. “I think it gives us great steps for moving forward.”

Mono’s inventory of forest tracts is comprised of five compartments.

The 1926 tract is 98 acres, off Fourth Line.

The Aikins tract is 100 acres, located off Fifth Line.

The Anderson tract measures 100 acres and is off 15 Sideroad.

The 5.8-acre Relessey tract is found off Mono Centre Road.

Lastly, the Klondyke-Monora tract is 157 acres and off County Road 16.

Dunmore said the town will work with user groups toward thinning a stand of red pine.

The red pine was highlighted as a species in need of thinning. Dunmore said those trees need room to grow and spread their branches, which will ensure Mono’s forests’ longevity. Stands of red pine are growing too congested.

Besides the space constraints, the crowded stands of trees cause nutrient depletion. Simply put, there ends up being too many trees for the available nutrients.

Red pine plantations were either established as pure stands or planted in a mixture of white pine and occasionally spruce.

“Stands of red pine are generally overstocked with small- to medium-sized sawtimber,” the management plan reads. “They are currently capable of yielding moderate volumes of merchantable boltwood/pulpwood, as well as sawlogs in some stands.”

That is the largest species in Mono’s forests and covers 28 per cent of the manageable forested area.

“These stands will either be nonexistent by the end of this plan period or in an advanced state of decline,” the report said. “It would be catastrophic to lose this amount of forest cover without forest restoration attempts being made over the period of this plan.”

Mitigation includes thinning the Red Pine stands and aggressive cyclical thinning afterwards. This will allow for natural regeneration to take place and essentially transform the stand into a more desirable mixed wood area. 

Deputy Mayor Fred Nix said he read the complete report. It touched upon various invasive species and such, but there wasn’t a single reference to garlic mustard.

Garlic mustard is an invasive European herb that was brought to North America in the 1800s.

“I find it disappointing,” Nix said.

His concern is that there’s evidence that garlic mustard prevents the regeneration of forests. It prevents saplings from flourishing.

Nix is also wary about ash trees and disappointed that the management plan doesn’t provide insight into what should be replanted when an ash tree is removed.

“I ask that because, the forest floor, at least where I’ve taken down ash trees, has all kinds of saplings,” Nix said. “Ash trees are going to grow back up. Is that good?”

He asked if repopulated ash trees would lure back the emerald ash borer insect and if a different species should be planted.

Nix also suggested the equipment used by contractors should be washed before it moves to another stand to prevent the spread of invasive species. He said there are locations that were introduced to the garlic mustard weed by the tires of forestry equipment.

Dunmore said the Town of Mono has had a clean equipment stipulation in their tender documents since 2013.

Regarding the deputy mayor’s concern about the ash tree undergrowth, Dunmore said it’s recommended those areas be repopulated with red pine trees.

The healthy forest canopy will hinder the spread of garlic mustard and wild raspberry.

“The champions will grow through it,” Dunmore said. “Champions being the best trees.”

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