Trees Ontario Launches Provincial Heritage Tree Program

    Ontarians can nominate Heritage Trees with important cultural and
    historical significance that can provide legacy seeds for the future

    TORONTO, June 25 /CNW/ - A province-wide program to identify trees across
the province with stories was announced today by Trees Ontario. The Heritage
Tree program celebrates those trees that have cultural or historical
significance to the community or province.
    Heritage Trees could be those around which a community has held an annual
picnic for the past 100 years, the tree that was planted to commemorate a
coronation or other important international event, a tree that was planted to
celebrate the life of a soldier or one in an historically designated
neighbourhood. The trees should be part of the fabric of that community.
    Anyone can nominate a tree by registering on the Trees Ontario Heritage
Tree web site ( A nominated tree is evaluated by a
Trees Ontario representative based on the following characteristics: its
historical and cultural importance to local and broader community; rarity of
species; prominence based on size and age; aesthetics and/or artistic
peculiarity; and its physical conditions and expected longevity. The
evaluation criteria can be found on the Heritage Tree web site.
    If the tree meets the above criteria, it will be placed into the Heritage
Trees online database. If identified as a Heritage Tree it will also be
recognized with a certificate.
    A Heritage Tree is usually more than 70 years old. What sets them apart
is the important cultural and historical significance they represent. "If
these trees could talk, they could provide an intriguing history lesson about
the people and land around which they are rooted," said Michael G. Scott,
President and CEO, Trees Ontario. "For the communities and people that enjoy,
celebrate and nurture these green giants, they are a source of pride, full of
rich memories and stories that they can now share."
    The Ontario Urban Forest Council's (OUFC) Heritage Tree Toolkit formed
the basis for the Trees Ontario Heritage Tree program. "The toolkit was
developed in response to the public's interest in identifying heritage trees
in the community," said Jack Radecki, Executive Director, OUFC. "OUFC is
thrilled to be working with Trees Ontario to launch the online provincial
    "We are pleased to be working with OUFC to extend their Heritage Tree
Toolkit into a province-wide program available to the public," Scott
continued. "We look forward to receiving nominations from across the province
and to reading wonderful stories about important trees in our province."
    Trees Ontario has already begun working with other agencies to identify
some trees that could be nominated. These are currently under review by Trees
Ontario representatives and include trees from Aylmer, Cataraqui, Collingwood,
Prince Edward County and Toronto.
    Another important aspect of this program is the opportunity to collect
seeds from recognized, native Heritage Trees, thus ensuring that the tree's
seeds live on. Trees Ontario plans to work with local communities to locate
and collect these seeds. Growing trees from native seeds is important as those
species have adapted to the regional environment over thousands of years and
are more likely to survive.
    For more information on Trees Ontario and the Heritage Tree Program,

    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 year, with its partners, Trees Ontario planted close to 3 million
trees. Visit the Trees Ontario website at

    Ontario Urban Forest Council

    The Ontario Urban Forest Council (OUFC) is a non-profit group that works
to advance the conservation and maintenance of urban forests across Ontario.
They provide technical support for groups addressing urban forestry issues and
offer various workshops on a wide range of topics. OUFC works in partnership
with all sectors, bringing together professionals, academics, industry,
government and the general public in a multi- stakeholder approach to urban
forest conservation.

For further information:

For further information: Paul Tyler, GoldFenix Communications, (416)
254-0698,; Victoria Ollers, GoldFenix Communications, (416)

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