HCA’s Pine Plantation Harvest Completed

HCA's Pine Plantation Harvest Completed

Over the 2017/18 winter, the Hamilton Conservation Authority carried out pine plantation harvests at various conservation areas, including; Dundas Valley, Valens Lake and Westfield Heritage Village. This work was completed in accordance with HCA's Managed Forest Plan (MFP), under the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) administered by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

In portions of each property, every third row of pine trees were removed by a mechanical harvester. Many of the small branches of the trees have been left behind and will biodegrade and add their nutrients back to the remaining trees. Over time, the remaining trees will grow larger and HCA will be planting new trees that will be a mix of different tree species.

Why did HCA harvest the pine plantations?
HCA's reasons for harvest were ecological, as pine plantations tend to lack biodiversity.

Many of HCA's pine plantations are monocultures, which makes them prone to disease (red pine decline and pine shoot beetle) that cause die offs in whole sections of a plantation. Additionally, there are often very few plants growing under pine plantations due to a lack of sunlight and soil acidity. and also tend to shade out understory shrubs. This leads to low structural diversity, which many other species like birds, mammals, and insects need in a forest to thrive.

Please revisit these areas often and see how they grow and change over time.

For more information, please contact:
Lesley McDonell
Terrestrial Ecologist
905-525-2181 ext. 233