Planning for and Implementing an Emerald Ash Borer-Induced Forest Restoration Program in Municipal Woodlands in Oakville, Ontario.

by

Peter A Williams and Candace Karandiuk

Forester (PAW), Williams & Associates, Forestry Consulting Ltd, 5369 Wellington 27, RR 1, Rockwood, ON, Canada N0B 2K0; Supervisor of Forest Health, Town of Oakville, PO Box 310, 1225 Trafalgar Rd., Oakville, ON Canada L6L 5T7. PAW is the corresponding author. To Contact call 519-856-1286 or email forstar@execulink.com.

Abstract – Oakville is an urban municipality that owns 849 hectares (xxx acres) of woodland on 280 properties. Forest management activities maintain forest health, environmental health, and safety; wood production is not a management objective. The town developed a comprehensive methodology to plan for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB-planipennis)-induced ash mortality it its woodlands and forest restoration. Strategic planning included development of an EAB Management Plan, Forest Management Plan, 5-year Operating Plans (OP) and Annual Operating Plans (AOP). A functional Forest Resource Inventory (FRI) was considered crucial in developing the OP and AOPS. The town collects and manages its forest and individual tree data using ARC&#reg;. The FRI and use data were input to a Decision Support Model that prioritized properties for scheduling. The OP describes the procedures for management and a planned schedule of operations. The AOPS schedule the specific activities that are planned for each year. Activities begin by updating the FRI data as part of a Silvicultural Prescription (SP). The SP prescribes activities that include no activity, hazard tree removal and/or salvage harvesting; and identifies a Regeneration Strategy. Trees are marked for harvesting by a logging contractor, and for removal or pruning by an arboricultural contractor. The harvesting and arboricultural contracts are tendered separately in the same package; with rigid operating restrictions. Ideally, both activities would be happen concurrently. A Regeneration Prescription (RP )for each property is developed during harvest preparations and operations. The RP includes a map indentifying one of three strategies encompassing the forest; Natural Processes, Regeneration Enhancement (limited planting and tending) and Prime Site (PS) (intensive site prep, planting and tending). A PS prescription my include shrub control, site preparation, dense planting, regular tending and replanting. For all PS and most Enhancement sites, three and five-year Free to Grow surveys are conducted to determine the level of success. At year five, tending activities are generally discontinued.