Upcoming Fall Tours! Sept. 24th & Oct. 22nd, 2022

Fall Tour 1: Celebrating 75 years of the Huron County Forest program and small-scale timber harvest

Saturday, September 24th, 9:30 am – Noon,  41580 Morris Line (County Road #16), Stevenson Tract, west of Brussels

This tour will explore some exciting new improvements in Huron County’s second largest County forest. Starting about 75 years ago, Huron County farmers, local Councils and the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests worked together to identify and to reforest marginal farmland to protect soils and water quality. The 200 acre Stevenson Tract is a great example of those efforts. We will have some fun with a demonstration of small scale log skidding devices and take a short hike on a new trail along the historic “Sunshine Creek”. Email hpwoodlot@gmail.com to register.


Fall Tour 2: Successful tree planting and Fall Colour Tour

Saturday, October 22nd, 9:30 am – Noon,  36823 Londesborough Road,          Ross Property and Morris Tract, west of Benmiller

Andy Ross is now several years into a very successful forest restoration project, with additional mature forest on his property backing onto the Maitland River, The neighbouring Morris Tract is a provincial nature reserve with 58 ha of upland forest, valleys, and a river valley, with a microclimate that supports trees typical of more southern climates. If the weather cooperates, we hope to see some beautiful fall colours on this tour. Email hpwoodlot@gmail.com to register.

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Huron Perth Chapter Newsletter – November 2020

November 2020 Newsletter:

This newsletter includes information about Gypsy Moths, details about an upcoming property tour on November 21, 2020, and a special deal for OWA members on a Woodland Emergency First Aid Kit.

H-P Woodlot November 2020

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Finding some calm in a woodland

Much has changed in the past few weeks. The rapid progression of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canada has led to the cancellation of public events and closure of most public places. While these changes have certainly been necessary, isolation from friends and family can quickly lead to feelings of loneliness, stress, and anxiety.

In these uncertain times, forests can be places of comfort that support both our physical and our mental health. There is no question about it; time spent in nature has been shown to improve mood, and relieve anxiety, stress, and symptoms of depression. Forest bathing, also called shinrin-yoku, is the act of being in nature and connecting with it through our senses. Soaking up the forest in this way and finding a sense of calm can be a powerful way to care for your health. While keeping some precautions in mind (see the list below for some advice), a walk through the woods can be a very safe–and often much-needed–activity at this time.

An autumn walk through the woods. Photo by: Katie Wintersgill.

A budding branch in the springtime.


Now perhaps more than ever, it is important to do what we can to maintain good health. Spring is the season when everything is coming back to life, and a walk through the woods can be a rejuvenating experience. If you go for a walk today, you will probably see fresh buds on the trees, new growth bursting through the soil, and birds and other wildlife going about their normal lives. Making time for a daily walk outdoors–while maintaining physical distance from others–should be a priority. In a time when it feels like everything has changed, signs of spring are a reminder of better times to come.


Here are some important tips for spending time outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Practice social distancing. This means keeping a distance from others of 2 metres (6 feet) or greater. If you are hiking on a trail, you may need to briefly step off the trail to let others pass safely.
  2. Do not go out if you feel ill or are under quarantine. Refer to current guidelines for self-isolation from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  3. Do not congregate in groups, and minimize your interactions with individuals outside of your household.
  4. Pay attention to local restrictions that have been implemented in the past couple of weeks. Several Conservation Areas in Ontario and all Provincial Parks are closed at this time. National Parks are currently closed to motorized vehicles, and public facilities are closed.

Now is the time to appreciate our woodlands for what they do to help us cope. It is my hope that when all of this has passed, everyone will come to appreciate our forests a little more for all that they have done for us.

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Nick Whyte Property Tour

On October 26, 2019, Mr. Whyte showed us his efforts in rehabilitating a degraded woodlot in an effort to provide a family maple syrup operation for enjoyment by the various generations of the Whyte family. View the event flyer.

Mr. Whyte has carried out intensive removal of the invasive buckthorn plant, thinning to release young hard maple trees, establishment of a trail system, and erection of a maple syrup processing building, etc.

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Annual General Meeting and tour of Pine Haven Sawmill and sheds

The Annual General Meeting was held on April 27th, 2019. Huron Perth Woodlot members toured the Pine Haven sawmill and sheds operation. View our event flyer.

Lunch was served by Janice’s Fine Country Catering, members received updates about the Huron Perth Chapter (e.g. past activities, planned activities, treasurer’s report, election of executive members).

After lunch, there was a guest talk by Paul Vandermolen of LawnMaster Landscaping and member’s draw and raffle for local gift certificates.


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Ken Wagler Property Tour

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St Helens Tour for the Huron-Perth AGM

The Annual General Meeting was held on April 8, 2017.  About 65 Huron-Perth members toured the St. Helens sawmill, pallet mill, and leatherworks operation, owned and run by the Stutzman family for decades.

All the lumber that is processed through the mills is from sources in Lambton, Middlesex, Huron, and Perth counties.  Watching the sawmill in action is impressive!  There are about 8 people working at a time, moving quickly to process the incoming logs.  Of course the pallet mill is also a well-oiled machine, cutting boards for fruit-grade pallets.

The sawmill and re-saw operation is run by Aaron and Menno, the pre-cut pallet operation by Levi, John (of Little John’s Leatherworks) makes custom leather products, of course all under the advisement of their father Jake Stutzman.  Many thanks to our hosts for the interesting tours!

The business portion of the meeting included an update from Terry Hoover, our provincial rep, the latest news from Bruce Kropf about Emerald Ash Borer and other trees pests and blights, and Roger, our President, led a discussion about the 2018 provincial AGM, which will be hosted in Huron/Perth.

Marvin (left) received a 25th Anniversary book from Terry (centre) and Roger (right)

Marvin Smith, who has been Secretary for the Huron Perth group since its inception, made significant contributions toward the Ontario Woodlot Association’s 25th Anniversary Book, which was published this spring.

Jim Ginn also served on the Huron Perth board from when it began until this past year.  Both Marvin and Jim were recognized by our chapter with a copy of the 25th Anniversary book.

There are more copies of the anniversary books available.  If you are interested in purchasing a book (cost is $20), contact Roger at 519-271-1978.

We’ll see you at our fall tours!

Photos provided by Shane Hesch.

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Trick Family Tour

On October 1st, members of the Huron Perth Woodlot Association were led on a tour of the Trick family farm, near Clinton.  With about 85 members in attendance and lots of things to see, the tour group was split into two – with one group heading out on wagons on a woodland tour, while the other learned about the history of the grist mill and sawmill operation.

Woodland Tour

The property has been in the Trick family for more than 140 years.  After decades of planting trees, there are several woodlots on the property in different ages of maturity and species mixes.  We viewed a pine plantation, mature maple woodlot, and a stand of walnut grown from planting seeds.  Tom Trick can remember when sand dunes used to build up in the areas that were once used for cropping, and are now in trees (pine and walnut).  The group even saw areas where the invasive glossy buckthorn was being shaded out by the mature maples.

Demonstration of a firewood processor.

Demonstration of a firewood processor.

We viewed a double row windbreak planted in 2015 by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority along several of their fields.  The tour group also visited a woodlot that had been predominantly ash.  Much of the ash was harvested last year.  Acorns were hand planted in the open areas, and the little red oak seedlings are starting to pop up.  Tom also gave a demonstration of a firewood processor.

Grist Mill, Sawmill, and Orchard Tours

Bill Trick tours the sawmill.

Bill Trick tours the sawmill.

Bill Trick talked about the history of the mill and its importance in the County.  The roadway between Clinton and Bayfield formerly crossed over the dam by the mill, since there was no reliable crossing through the Trick’s creek bog until 1880.  Bill’s grandmother told him that during the 1930’s she fed many hungry transients who then bedded down in the barn.  For a number of years it was common for an itinerant barber to set up his chair on the platform of the Mill for a week or so in the spring and in the fall and cut the hair of the farmers, while boarding with the Tricks.  Several times, men who were cutting ice off the pond for storage at ice houses, fell into the pond by misstep, and then hustled up to the Trick’s kitchen to strip and warm up.

The Mill

The Mill

The mill was a major hub of industry in the mid-1800s.  At that time, Rock Elm was being sold for $5/1000 bd/ft, and labour costs were $1.50 per day.  Some Huron County residents might recognize the names of their relatives from the old mill records. The mill was built with sawn floor joists, some sawn framing pieces, and double layers of wide floor boards. There are two water turbines installed in the mill.  One operates the electrical generator that provides power for the property, and the other powers a saw used to manufacture cedar shingles.

There were many pieces of equipment from throughout the history of the property including a collection of chain saws, a ‘sticker machine’ from the Clinton Piano Factory, an antique circular saw, and a modern band saw mill.

Thea Trick shows the group heartnuts from a tree she grew from seed.

Thea Trick shows the group heartnuts from a tree she grew from seed.

Thea Trick has a talent for growing trees from seeds, and has several interesting species in her orchard including paw-paw, heartnut trees, and Osage orange.

Thank you to Bill, Thea, Tom, Cherilyn, Anna, Alex, and Charlie Trick for being such gracious hosts.

Photos were provided by Brent Bowyer.

Welcome message for tour participants
By Bill and Thea Trick (Tom’s parents)

We welcome you to a tour of the Trick Property and Woodlot, Clinton Ontario

This property and mill have been owned by the Trick Family since 1873, and was purchased by Thomas and Catherine Trick.   Thomas was the great great grandfather of Tom Trick.

Records show that this grist mill was built about 1850.  However there were two water powered sawmills installed on the other side of the stream, the first being an up and down or muley mill, which was replaced by a circular mill prior to 1880.  The residuals of that preconfederation muley mill was collected in later years by staff of the Ford museum.  The circular mill was dismantled in the 1915 period, due to foundation problems with the intentions to rebuild it but this unfortunately did not happen.   The present circular mill was installed primarily for the family’s own use about 1980.  Tom now owns and uses a band mill, and the present circular mill will probably be dismantled in the near future.

Since this tour is timber related, I have reviewed some of the old records that we have on the mill operations.  We have records from mid-1800’s but the two in the desk at the entrance door are  the  “Saw Mill Book” and the  “Chopping Book”  which lists the activities and accounts from the late 1880’s to early part of the 1900’s, for the two mills.  The “Saw Mill Book” shows the following in 1890 to 1910.

Sawing                  $ 3.00 /1000 bd/ft

Labour                  $1.50 /day

Saw ground and hammered including freight                      $13.70

Buying logs   Rock elm @ $5/1000; Swamp elm @$3.90/1000; basswood @ $3.00/1000

Hard maple, hemlock and cedar were often tolled against sawing.

Some here today may find the names of customers of more than 100 years ago interesting.   George Middleton; John Middleton; Peter Cole; Henry Beacom; James Miller; James Graham; A Whitingham;    Joseph Izzard; Edward Wise; George Burnett; James Smith; Thomas Jewett; John Jenkins; John Cluff; A. Welsh; John Stewart; John Thompson; John Marshall; John Diehl; D. McTavish; John Woon; Robert Coloughly; Thomas Beacom;  Thomas Jenkins; Sam Rathwell; John Stewart Senior; Edward Rathwell; James McFarlane; Gabriel Elliott; Henry Carter; John Elliott; E. Steep; George Miller; George Cooper;  James Hudie;  Patrick Cronan; James Connell; William Rathwell;  Edward Glen; Adam Cantelon; Charles Stewart; Albert Wise; John Green; J.G. Steep; George Holland; William Rutledge; A.J Courtice; James Curry; G. Cooper; William Yeo; William Glen; James Switzer;  H.H Cantelon; E. Rumball; George Cook; Thomas Cole; Benjamin Switzer; J Sterling;  Harvey Carter; Thomas Wigginton; Albert Anderson; John Sheppard; James Alexander; John Deeves; Robert Hanley; Frank Whitmore; John Pickett; ? Webster; John Pearson; David Churchill; William Wheatley; Frank Powell; Adam Stewart; Reuben Grigg; ? McGregor; George Mair

Chainsaw collection

Chainsaw collection

Interesting wood specimens from around the property

Interesting pieces of wood from the property

You can follow the Ontario Woodlot Association on Twitter at: Ontariowoodlot

You can follow the Ontario Woodlot Association on Twitter at: Ontariowoodlot

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Twilight Windbreak Tour – June 9, 2016

The Huron-Perth Woodlot Association hosted a Twilight Windbreak Tour on June 9th.  Led by Ian Jean (Forest and Land Stewardship Specialist, ABCA),  the tour provided an overview of the benefits of windbreaks as well as information about planning, planting, early tending, and management throughout their life cycle.


Windbreak Twilight Tour June 9, 2016-1

Windbreak Twilight Tour June 9, 2016-2

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Huron Perth Annual General Meeting April 9 16

The Annual General Meeting was held in St. Paul’s Station (between St. Mary’s and Stratford) at the Downie Optimist Club. There was a demonstration from Dan Bannon of Bannon Log Homes in the morning.  After the business meeting and lunch, the Canadian Raptor Conservancy did an impressive live flying demonstration with birds of prey. AGM April 9, 2016-1

AGM April 9, 2016-2

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