Starting on Monday, December 5th at noon, Northumberland County residents can apply for FREE tree seedlings for spring 2023 through the Emerald Ash Borer Replacement Tree program. Starting on December 5th, Northumberland County residents will be able to apply online to receive between 25-100 FREE tree seedlings packaged in bundles of 25 seedlings per species, to plant on their properties. There is a max of 100 seedling per household.
This program is funded by Northumberland County and is administered by Lower Trent Conservation. Its focus is to replace forest cover lost to the Emerald Ash Borer, however, you do not need to have ash trees on your property to apply, but you do need to live in Northumberland County.
All applications will be reviewed on a first-come first-served basis. Successful applicants will be notified by email. Pick-up of the free seedlings will be in the spring 2023 at the Lower Trent Conservation Administration Office.
What Are Invasive Species?
Invasive species are species of plants and animals that make their way into natural habitats and crowd out the native species that were already present and established. These species have no natural predators and reproduce extremely quickly, allowing them to out-compete native species for food and resources.
Why Are Invasive Species A Problem?
Invasive species can not only pose threats to other plants and animals within an ecosystem, they can cause extreme social and economic problems for us as well. Every year invasive species cost agriculture and forest industries in Canada $7.3 billion. Zebra mussels alone have cost between $3 billion and $7.5 billion in damages throughout the Great Lakes. Ontario has the highest risk of species invasions compared to any other Canadian province or territory, due to its diverse economy, growing population and geographic location.
Invasive species can also be very dangerous. Species like giant hogweed can cause serious and painful burning blisters on the skin if exposed to the sap of the plant. If the sap gets in your eyes, it can also cause temporary or permanent blindness. In water, species such as water soldier can make recreational swimming and boating difficult as they form dense clusters with sharp edges and barbs.
How Are Invasive Species Introduced?
- Off road vehicals (ATV’s, dirt bikes, tractors)
- Aquarium, water garden and pet trades
- Ballast water
- Canals and changes to waterways
- Gardening and landscaping
- Movement of live fish and bait
- Movement or transport of topsoil
- Recreational and commercial boating
- Transport of animal carcasses or products made from them
- Transport of raw wood and other forest products
- Water transport and using water for dust control on roads
What Can You Do To Help?
Unfortunately, once established, these invasive species can be extremely difficult to eliminate. The
active participation of the public, boaters, anglers, campers, hikers, and other recreationalists, is vital to prevent the spread of these invaders.
To help prevent the spread, here are a few tips:
- Gardening? Plant native species.
- Going camping? Don’t transport firewood. Buy it locally; leave what you don’t use there.
- Going fishing? Don’t empty your bait bucket in or near water – it’s against the law.
- Going boating? Wash your boat before you move to another lake or river.
- Going hiking? Clean visible mud, plants and seeds from your boots and other equipment.
- Have a fish pet that is no longer wanted? Don’t release it into the wild and don’t flush dead fish
down the toilet. Put them in the garbage or compost.
- Travelling? Don’t take plants, plant parts, seeds or fruit across borders.
- Have a turtle, fish or other small reptile pet that is no longer wanted? Don’t release it into the wild.
- Found an invasive? Report any found invasive species to the Invasive Species Hotline (1-800-563-7711) or EDDMapS.org/Onatrio.