As seen in The Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette

Last week, the Nith Valley Ecoboosters, along with Let’s Tree Wilmot hosted a “Let’s Talk Healthy Trees” webinar to close off National Forest Week. This virtual event covered all the basics of tree planting, from selecting the best tree to choosing a good location, maintaining the tree once it has been planted, and helpful gardening tips, tricks, and information. The free webinar featured guest speaker Sarah Taslimi, certified Arborist and Landscape Architect.

“A lot of people, when it comes to gardening or tree planting, think of spring, but actually, for planting trees, the fall is the best. Even for a lot of perennials, this is a really good time to plant,” said Marlene Knezevich, member of both Nith Valley Ecoboosters and Let’s Tree Wilmot.

“There’s not as much heat, there’s time for the roots to start getting established, so then they have a little bit of growing season before the heat starts. Whereas the spring, sometimes the springs are short that you get right into the hot and dry (weather) and that can be a bit of a shock for a newly planted plant or tree. So tree planting is ideally done in the fall.”

Let’s Tree Wilmot, which was first established in March 2020, has been involved in several tree-planting initiatives to date, including their most recent on September 9. The event, initiated by New Hamburg Home Hardware, Yantzi Home Building Centre, and Tree Canada, saw a group of 40-50 people plant 90 trees at Sir Adam Beck Community Park in Baden.

Both Let’s Tree Wilmot and Nith Valley Ecoboosters hope to continue these tree planting initiatives in the future and offer more educational events similar to this webinar. They also see the possibility of continuing these sessions as a series that provides further information about more specific topics relating to trees, such as pruning or diseases. However, the first webinar will primarily cover the basics of the planting process and the considerations that must be made when selecting a species of tree to plant.

“A lot of the time, the native trees support wildlife. For example, an oak tree will host about 450-500 species, whereas a non-native tree only hosts one or two. And they still offer shade and some carbon offsetting, but when it comes to supporting our native insects and birds, it’s the native trees that are more important,” said Knezevich.

Following the guest speaker, the webinar had a question and answer period where people will have the opportunity to ask a trained professional any outstanding questions they had. Additionally, everyone who registered received an online resource list that includes further information about how to plant a tree, how to mulch properly, information about native trees, and similar subjects.

A recording of the event is available through the Nith Valley Ecoboosters’ Youtube channel for a month afterwards, so those who are interested, but were unable to attend, are encouraged to watch it at a later date.

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