Conservation authority wants to help landowners plant wind breaks, tree stands


Landowners can get financial help to plant trees on their land.

The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority is now taking orders for trees. Since 1980, the authority has assisted rural landowners with ordering trees, tree planting services, and controlling weed competition around newly planted trees.

Landowners and conservation groups have planted over four million trees in the conservation authority’s watershed, for farm windbreaks and green cover to marginal lands in southern Ontario.

Steve Shaw, Manager of Conservation Services at the SCRCA says the trees available today are very hardy. “Landowners are getting a thicker (evergreen) caliper (trunk) tree with a more developed root system which provides a higher survival rate than before.”

There are also deciduous tree species grown from seeds collected from native trees in the St. Clair Region every fall.

There is about 10 per cent forest cover on average throughout the St. Clair Region watershed. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, that figure is too low to sustain the health of a watershed.

The authority plants about 60,000 trees each year in addition to the thousands of trees ordered by landowners who purchase and plant trees on their own.

Conservation Authorities also have access to several federal and provincial grant programs to assist landowners to engage the Conservation Authority to plant windbreaks to prevent soil loss and improve crop yields, establish buffer strips to protect watercourses, and establish tree plantations to create habitat in marginal areas.  “These financial incentives make tree planting projects very affordable for landowners,” said Shaw.

The authority is accepting large tree orders online until March 25. They can be ordered at the SCRCA website.