Resources | Coastal Woodlands
Southern Ontario as a whole has only about 25% forest cover, which is less than the minimum (30%) needed to support healthy wildlife and ecosystems
Trees absorb 48 lbs of CO2 annually.
Southwestern Ontario forest cover = 12.1%
The Huron Fringe Forest includes the wooded areas that parallel the shoreline of Lake Huron. It is a remnant of what used to be part of the great forests of pre-European settlement that covered about 90% of the landscape in southwestern Ontario. Today, because of clearing for agriculture and development, the forests have been reduced to patches and strips of woodlands.
Publications and Factsheets
Q - What tree species should I plant after the Emerald Ash Borer has killed Ash trees on my property?
A - The tree and shrub species you should plant vary based on your location. The Government of
Ontario has a great online tree atlas you can access to find which tree species work for
shoreline areas on Lake Huron! You can access this atlas here
Q - Trees on my shoreline are washing away from the high lake levels! What should I do?
A - There was a period of extended low-lake levels between 2000 and 2013. During this time,
plants and trees were able to 'creep' out closer to the water's edge and grow without being
taken away by lake storms because of these low levels. Now that the lake levels have come
back up to a high (2019-2020), many of the trees, shrubs, and plants have been pulled out of the
shoreline by storm waves. This phenomenon is completely normal. However, if there are trees
that are at risk of causing harm to person or property, check with your local Conservation
Authority and Municipality before removing them to get the proper permits. Some areas of Lake
Huron's shores have shoreline tree preservation bylaws in place.
Q - I want to plant trees but I don't know where I should buy them and what grants are available?
A - Conservation Authorities across the coast have amazing tree planting programs where you can
purchase native, healthy large trees or seedlings for very good prices. Their tree planting
programs typically run in the Spring and Autumn seasons. Check with your local Conservation
Authority before the end of January to place an order for trees, which will arrive in March/April
every spring, or late Autumn. Many grants and financial incentive programs exist to help cover the costs of planting large areas, windbreaks, and other projects on private lands.