Trees Ontario and partners branch out with Canada's first online tree seed forecasting program

    Collecting and tracking seeds crucial to Ontario meeting tree planting

    TORONTO, April 21 /CNW/ - Trees Ontario added another branch to its tree
planting initiatives - Canada's first-ever online tree seed forecasting
program. One tiny seed can become a giant tree storing 13 pounds of carbon
each year. The one seed that grows into a tree may be among hundreds or
thousands of other seeds that did not germinate or were blown elsewhere.
    Working with its partners across Ontario, Trees Ontario is the largest
not-for-profit tree planting partnership in North America. This year, through
its planting programs, Trees Ontario will help fund the planting of close to 3
million trees, mostly on rural lands in southern Ontario. Its target is to
increase planting support to put 10 million trees a year in the ground by
    Collecting seeds and tracking those that sprout, compiling information
about seed availability, location, type and quantity into one central online
database is a vital part of rebuilding Ontario's tree planting infrastructure,
and it is critical to the overall success of long-term planning for tree
planting in Ontario.
    Trees Ontario's tree seed program grew from an initial collection and
identification project with the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation, focusing on the
Oak Ridges Moraine that stretches across 32 municipalities in southern
Ontario. This new online component has expanded on the initial program through
working partnerships with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources' 50
Million Tree Program, the Forest Gene Conservation Association, the Ontario
Tree Seed Plant, the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA) and the Eastern
Ontario Model Forest.
    The new online database component of the tree seed program is designed
for forestry experts and certified seed collectors, enabling them to be
actively involved in compiling seed forecasting information into one central
database. Qualified individuals can obtain more information about the online
program by visiting the Trees Ontario website at:
    Those that don't qualify, but have a keen interest in seed forecasting,
such as foresters, landowners, current seed collectors, biologists, arborists
and naturalists can learn more about the program by joining a one-day seed
forecasting workshop to take place June 3, 2009 in Essex and June 24, 2009 in
    "Unlike the chicken and egg debate, we know that seeds are needed before
trees can grow," said Michael Scott, President and CEO, Trees Ontario. "Having
our professionals engaged in an online database program will enable us to
better track, source and grow native tree seed across the province in support
of our tree planting goals."
    Those foresters, landowners, current seed collectors, biologists,
arborists and naturalists interested in joining the one-day seed forecasting
workshop can contact Trees Ontario at 1.877.646.1193 or email
    Youth educational materials focused on the importance of tree seed,
collection and forecasting can be found online through the Ontario Forestry
Association's Focus on Forests Program at:
    To find out more about Trees Ontario and take us one more step toward a
greener and healthier Ontario, visit

    Trees Ontario

    Trees Ontario, working with its partners, is the largest, not-for-profit
tree planting partnership in North America. It is committed to the re-greening
of Ontario through a range of tree planting activities. Trees Ontario is also
partnering with the Ministry of Natural Resources to help deliver the Ontario
government's commitment to plant 50 million trees by 2020.
    The goal of Trees Ontario is to restore the province's tree planting
capacity, especially throughout southern Ontario on private lands, by
providing funding and planning support for its tree planting partners. These
include local Conservation Authorities, Ontario Stewardship Councils,
municipal governments and community volunteer groups.
    This spring Trees Ontario, with its partners, will plant close to 3
million trees across the province. Its goal is to increase tree planting to 10
million trees every year by 2015. Visit the Trees Ontario website at

    Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation

    The Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation operates primarily by funding the work
of others and offers leadership or coordination for Moraine-wide activities.
The Foundation is also a convener, bringing people and interests together to
identify common ground. To date, the Foundation has committed over $12 million
to 146 projects across the moraine. To learn more visit

    Ontario Forestry Association

    The Ontario Forestry Association (OFA) is a non-profit, registered
charity. It is dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of all aspects
of Ontario's forests, and to develop commitment to stewardship of forest
ecosystems. The OFA has been involved in public education around forestry and
environmental issues since the 1940s. Over the years they have been involved
in major initiatives involving restoration, commemoration and the management
of our forests and natural environment. To this day, they continue to increase
public education and knowledge of forestry and environmental issues. Visit the
OFA website at

    Eastern Ontario Model Forest

    As one of the model forests in Canada's Model Forest Network, the Eastern
Ontario Model Forest (EOMF) works with government, landowners, industry, First
Nations and other stakeholders to develop new ways to sustain and manage our
forest resources.
    The EOMF champions the belief that we all have a stake in ensuring that
the environmental, economic, cultural and social values of Eastern Ontario's
forests are maintained for the benefit of all, now and in the future.
    The principle behind the model forest program is simple: demonstrate how
partners, representing a diversity of forest values, can work together to
achieve sustainable forest management using innovative, region-specific
approaches. Learn more at

    About the Forest Gene Conservation Association

    The Forest Gene Conservation Association (FGCA) promotes the importance
of the genetic resources of the forests of South Central Ontario, with
emphasis on conservation of genetic diversity of native forest tree species.
    FGCA's focus lies in promoting the maintenance and restoration of the
genetic base of woody plant species (trees and shrubs), increasing the
economic benefits of planting through planning and implementing tree breeding
programs for selected woody plant species and ensuring the use of biologically
appropriate seed sources in support of planting programs. To learn more visit

For further information:

For further information: For Media inquiries, please contact: Paul
Tyler, GoldFenix Communications, tel: (905) 235-7285, email:; Victoria Ollers, GoldFenix Communications, tel: (416)
822-2288, email:

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