Category Archives: forestry

New propagation trays improve tree health and growth

darby-mcgrath-webBy Kelly Daynard for AgInnovation Ontario

Vineland – The differences between two young oak trees in a greenhouse at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) are immediately noticeable. Not only is one twice the size of the other, but its root base is much thicker.

Both trees were planted into the same growing medium on the same day last April. The difference is that the smaller one was grown in a traditional black plastic plug tray, common in the nursery industry, while the larger one was grown in a revolutionary new propagation tray designed by Vineland.

Dr. Darby McGrath is a nursery and landscape research scientist who has been at Vineland since 2013. A lot of her work in the past has focused on urban tree projects – with a special interest in growing trees that will survive and thrive along Canadian highways or urban boulevards.

“Those are challenging plantings,” McGrath explained. “It’s the opposite of what a tree would want.” Continue reading

How Canadian soybean farmers are protecting the Bruce Trail

This story comes to us from Soy 20/20

Cutting the Bruce - Image provided courtesy of Tom Hall - web
By Lilian Schaer for Soy 20/20

Niagara Escarpment – What do soybean farmers and Ontario’s famous Bruce Trail have in common? More than you might think.

The Bruce Trail, popular with hikers, runs the length of the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere reserve, from Niagara to Tobermory, Ontario. It is maintained by a team of volunteers, who use their chain saws and other equipment to manage the trail and keep it useable and safe.

All that equipment leaves an environmental footprint, though – oil residues from chain saw cutting, volatile organics from combustion, and sometimes respiratory irritation for sawyers during extended periods of cutting. Continue reading

Building the bioeconomy in Ontario’s North


By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

North Bay – A new centre is driving development of the bioeconomy in northern Ontario. The Biomass North Development Centre – Biomass North for short – was formed this past summer after Nipissing University withdrew its support from the Biomass Innovation Centre it had established in 2009.

The focus of the new not-for-profit is research, innovation, and growth in clean technology and the bioeconomy, mostly centred around forestry, as a way to stimulate economic development and job creation in Ontario’s North.

“We have a robust bioeconomy emerging in northern Ontario that needs the type of support that Biomass North can provide,” explains Project Director Francis Gallo. “That includes providing news and information to our members, marketing and technical support, as well as opportunities for business and development.” Continue reading