News Flash

Red Deer County News

Posted on: June 8, 2018

Healthy Woodlots For The Ages

Woodlot (1)

By Aimee Delaney, Conservation Assistant

A woodlot is a community of trees and other plant species. Whether you have a few stands of trees or a full woodlot the health of the trees and the surrounding plants are an important component to keeping your woodlot healthy and long-lasting.

Often measured by their ability to produce forest products, a woodlot’s value has seemingly boiled down to creating or diversifying economies. However, woodlots produce far more goods and services than we give them credit for – for example: protection for soil from wind and water erosion, contribution to cleansing, filtering and stabilizing wetlands and water bodies.

Woodlots also provide habitat for wildlife, insects and plant species otherwise unseen on the landscape. If protecting wildlife is your interest, woodlots that provide the best habitat for wildlife contain a mix of species, including conifers and hardwoods, and trees of all ages and sizes. They also have a good understory of food-producing shrubs for wildlife and a dense layer of plants in the ground.

10 Ways to improve Woodlot Health
1. Reduce disturbing or damaging natural environments
2. Create natural buffers around forested areas
3. Promote native plants producing nuts and berries
4. Leave some decaying logs, branches and leaf litter on the ground (except for around buildings)
5. Protect large canopy trees
6. Enlarge an existing woodlot or connect two woodlots
7. Create and maintain travel corridors and protective cover for wildlife
8. Protect and naturalize the water’s edge (if applicable)
9. Create trails and stick to them; restrict pets to trails
10. Keep livestock out

Additionally, the Green Acreages program may have funding available for folks interested in protecting, creating or increasing treed spaces on their properties. Call Aimee Delaney, 403.342.7367 or adelaney@rdcounty.ca, for more information.

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