Community tree planting project to rebuild lost trees in Douro-Dummer

Hundreds of tree saplings in planter pots at Pineneedle Farms.
An example of some of the trees available as part of the Tree Planting Program. Photo provided by Pineneedle Farms.
Edward Sweeney - CFFF - PeterboroughON | 09-08-2023
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During the derecho that affected Eastern Ontario in May 2022, many trees were lost in the Township of Douro-Dummer. This summer, the township is organizing a community tree-planting program to promote a greener, sustainable community, and to help rebuild some of the trees lost in the storm.

The May 2022 derecho affected millions of people in Canada's most densely populated areas, according to The Weather Network. Due to extensive damages to forestry and infrastructure, Peterborough declared a local state of emergency four days after the storm. The derecho left areas of Peterborough and the Kawarthas without power for up to two weeks. Even now, over a year after the storm, the loss of forested areas can still be seen in Peterborough County.

The Township of Douro-Dummer received funding from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in response to the derecho, and council decided to use part that funding to provide trees to the community, says Chief Administrative Officer Elana Arthurs.

“Council decided to take a portion of that [funding] to provide trees to the community at a subsidized cost,” says Arthurs. “Specifically, for those who lost trees in the storm, but also for those who are interested in doing some additional planting on their property.”

Trees will be available for purchase at roughly 1/3 of the retail price of equivalent plants, says Arthurs.

The tree saplings available in this program come from a local tree seedling grower, Pineneedle Farms in Pontypool, and all of the species available are considered “native” species, says Arthurs. Arthurs listed the seven species available for purchase: Norway Spruce, White Pine, White Spruce, River Birch, Red Oak, Burr Oak, and Red Maple.

The trees come in two-gallon pots available for $5, and three-gallon pots for $10. Trees are available for preorder between July 31 and Aug. 23, and they are scheduled to be ready for pick-up in mid-September.

The orders are required to be paid in full to attempt to reduce waste says Arthurs.

“We didn’t want to offer them for free and end up with trees that people didn’t pick up, or trees that people did pick up and did not feel the need to plant them,” Arhurs says. “We thought that 1/3 of the cost will give people some ownership to ensure that they get planted.”

In addition to being paid in full, proof of residency in the Township of Douro-Dummer is required upon placing the order at their municipal office to ensure that the trees are staying in and benefiting the Douro-Dummer community.

Listen to the CFFF story below: