Simcoe County Forests: where money does grow on trees
By Wayne Doyle, Local Journalist, Jan 27, 2024
Simcoe County harvests almost 30,000 cubic metres of broad timber each year, which generates about $2 million annually that is reinvested in the forest
You may not have noticed it because they take so long to grow, but Simcoe County’s forests are constantly changing.
More than a hundred years ago, in 1922, Simcoe County became the first region in Ontario to enter into what was called the ‘Agreement Forest’ program, originally established to rehabilitate the county’s vast wasteland of sandy soils.
In the early years of the program, more than one million trees were planted each year, most of them pine.
Today, there are approximately 20 million trees in the county’s forests, which occupy almost 14,000 hectares (about 34,000 acres), making it the single largest municipal forest in the province.
According to Graeme Davis, Simcoe County’s forester, planting has slowed down considerably.
“We actually harvest far more than we plant,” he explained. “The early forests are maturing at the same time and those original pine plantation forests are starting to convert into a mixed natural forest type.”