submitted by Tom Graham
This past year, local residents may have witnessed considerable activity in the forests at Kemptville Campus. Activities have included trail improvements, thinning in the sugar bush, new sap pipelines, equipment upgrades in the evaporator house, unveiling of the Peter Wensink Maple Forest, the Fall in Love with Maple event and most importantly the community use of the forest.
In keeping with the Vision and Goals of the Campus and the Campus Forest, a thinning operation in the red pine plantations will take place over the next several months. The harvest of forest products will concentrate on thinning over-crowded forest areas to maintain forest health and increase growth potential of the remaining trees. All forest management activities will meet the high standards of FSC® certification.
“Thinning in red pine plantations is undertaken to improve forest health and species diversity,” said Jim Hendry, Registered Provincial Forester and manager of the Campus Forest. “This is accomplished by harvesting the lower quality trees competing with the higher quality ones, known as crop trees, and providing space for the natural regeneration to grow.”
Once the selected trees are marked, harvesting will be done by Lavern Heideman & Sons Ltd, an eastern Ontario lumber processing company. Specialized equipment is used to cut and pile the logs. When ready, the logs will be loaded onto logging trucks and transported to the company’s sawmill in Eganville. There, they will be sawn into lumber of various dimensions and used primarily in the landscaping business. A transportation plan will be developed to ensure safety procedures are in place during entrance and exits from the Campus.
Tree marking started November 1st and thinning will begin in December, with an anticipated finish of February 2022. The thinning affects about 29 of the Campus’s approximately 350 acres of forest. Recreational trails within the thinning area – including the Discovery Trail Loop and Sugar Bush Trail Loops – will be closed or partially closed to the public during the harvest operation. Temporary signs will be posted on trails affected while workers are present.
Watch for more information in the coming weeks.