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Trees Ontario, Conservation Authorities and Ontario Stewardship plant more than 2.6 million trees across Southern Ontario this spring

Friday, May 18th 2007 10:10:43am

More than 2.6 million trees are being planted across Southern Ontario this spring

(Toronto, May 17 2007)  More than 2.6 million trees are currently being planted across Southern Ontario this spring, with funding assistance from the Trees Ontario Foundation (TOF).

Tree planting agencies such as Conservation Authorities and Ontario Stewardship plant approximately 2 million trees across Southern Ontario each year.  Thanks to additional funding from the Ontario government and renewed planting partnerships, the TOF is helping these agencies increase that number by more than 600,000 trees this spring.

"By planting trees in environmentally important areas, we are demonstrating to Ontarians that we can each play a personal role in helping to protect our watersheds, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gases," said Michael Scott, President & CEO of the Trees Ontario Foundation. "Trees release oxygen, remove carbon, help to prevent soil erosion, provide habitat for animals, and filter the air and water- all things that can help reduce the impacts of climate change," he added.

Skilled foresters from planting agencies identify optimal planting sites, and work with landowners to ensure the appropriate selection of native seedlings for specific geographic areas.  Other partners that assist with tree planting efforts include Conservation Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Stewardship, the Ontario Forestry Association, the Forest Gene Conservation Association, the Ontario Tree Seed Plant and privately owned nurseries.

"It takes money, experience and knowledge to successfully plant trees and then ensure that they flourish," observed Scott. "The renewed commitment to tree planting by the Province is very important, as it allows our partners in the Conservation Authorities, Ontario Stewardship and private tree planters to demonstrate their real expertise in tree planting and habitat restoration. This mix of appropriate funding, coupled with expertise, is a great combination."

Trees are vital for the quality of the air we breathe. One healthy, mature tree provides enough oxygen for four people each day. It takes about 80 mature trees to remove from the air the four tonnes of emissions per year that a mid-sized car produces.

"The Trees Ontario Foundation (TOF) is excited to be working with our tree planting partners. Year after year, these are the people who make tree planting possible, particularly in the important watershed regions across Southern Ontario," said Scott.

As it prepares for the 2008 planting season, the Trees Ontario Foundation is encouraging private landowners interested in having subsidized tree planting on their land to contact TOF or their local tree planting agency. The landowners may also be eligible for the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP), which allows landowners owning more than four hectares of forested land to reduce their property tax if they prepare and follow a Managed Forest Plan for their property. Last year, more than 1,200 people attended province-wide MFTIP workshops organized by the Ontario Forestry Association and the Trees Ontario Foundation.

The Trees Ontario Foundation (TOF) is a non-profit corporation established to promote and support tree planting initiatives in Ontario through partnering with tree planting agencies ( www.treesontario.on.ca).

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For more information, contact:

Michael Scott, Trees Ontario Foundation, (416) 506-1694, mscott@treesontario.on.ca

Don Huff, e|c|o, (416) 972-7401, huffd(a)huffstrategy.com