Townsend Lumber Inc
Responsibly managing, harvesting, and sawing timber in southwestern Ontario since 1959
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Mike Penner & Bill Carl (Timber/Log Buyers)
Phone:  519-688-1426 (Mike) 519-688-1236 (Bill)
Fax:  519-842-9467

Sustainable Forestry

The Forest Management Team at Townsend Lumber offers experienced professional service to help you get the best value from your timber assets. Our own future depends on the hardwood forests of Southwestern Ontario, and we've made it our business to become knowledgeable and effective caretakers of this valuable natural resource. The Townsend Forest Management Team is responsible for ensuring a steady supply of high quality logs for our lumber mills, not just for today, but for the years ahead as well. Your woodlot can be managed with the same care and expertise by working with our team.

Townsend is your best choice for:
  • Qualified staff: our logging managers and crews are fully certified for Cutter/Skidder operations; crews are educated in woodlot safety, correct harvesting procedures, forest management practices and environmental issues
  • Reduced risk: Townsend carries extensive general liability insurance while both the company and its subcontractors meet Workplace Safety & Insurance Board requirements
  • A consistent record: many landowners throughout the region have worked with Townsend Forest Management and have expressed their satisfaction with the results
  • A proven plan: Forest Management Plans are already in place for Townsend's own properties, providing useful guidelines for effective long-term management of your woodlot
  • Free evaluation: we offer free woodlot inspections to help you evaluate the potential of your timber resources and determine the kind of forest management plans best suited to your woodlot
Make the right choice!

Talk to the Forest Management Team at Townsend Lumber for expert service and a free evaluation!

Townsend Lumber’s location in the heart of the only Carolinian forest region of Canada gives it access to a wide variety of high-quality Carolinian hardwoods.

Townsend Lumber purchases and processes a variety of species of wood, including Ash, Beech, Basswood, Cherry, Hard Maple, Hickory, Soft Maple, Red Oak, White Oak, Tulip and Walnut.

Forest Management for Income

Making Financial Sense

Most forest owners are aware of the potential for income from harvests, but many do not know that harvest income can be increased through good forest management. A management plan that outlines good forest management options can provide a wide variety of economic and environmental benefits to the landowner.

How Does Your Forest Grow?

A forest grows much like a garden. When there are a lot of trees, they compete for light, water and nutrients. The result of too much competition is a lot of slow-growing trees of moderate timber quality. When there are too few trees, growth potential is lost, and much of the growth is concentrated in young seedlings, again of varying quality. In either case, the forest is not producing timber at its maximum potential.

The Benefits of Thinning

Thinning or improvement cutting is the removal of low-quality trees to increase the amount of light, water and nutrients available to the remaining trees. Thinning results in an increased growth rate of the remaining trees. If these trees have been selected to remain because of their timber potential, this increase in growth provides an investment return to the landowner.

Landowner Options

Most forests in southern Ontario are managed using either a diameter limit system or based on a forest management prescription. Under a diameter limit cut, trees above a preset diameter (usually 30 cm) at chest height are considered for cutting. The Forest Management team will use their discretion to determine which trees above the preset diameter should be cut and which trees should remain to continue to grow. Under a forest management prescription, specific trees are selected to be cut or left, based on their growth potential or their benefit to natural regeneration or wildlife. This selection process is based on many individual tree characteristics, not just tree size. Each tree to be cut is marked with paint to ensure that the prescription is followed.

Sustainable Forest Management helps Ontario's Forests
  • remain healthy and productive
  • support a strong forest industry and provide people with jobs and forest products (lumber, paper, fuel, medicines, chemicals and more)
  • conserve biodiversity, enhance or protect wildlife habitat, watersheds, and other values, and reduce the build-up of greenhouse gases (a major cause of climate change)
  • support Ontario communities, provide recreation opportunities (hiking, hunting, fishing and more), and provide a healthy living environment

What is Sustainable Forestry?

Sustainable forest management is a way of using and caring for forests so as to maintain their environmental, social and economic values and benefits over time.

Sustainable Forestry starts with local tree bylaws:

Since the late 1940s, the province of Ontario has granted municipalities the authority to regulate tree cutting in privately owned forests. Most southern Ontario municipalities now have these bylaws in place. They were originally intended to control the clear-cutting or near clear-cutting of woodlots which was common in southern Ontario at the time. These practices are generally not appropriate for the hardwood and mixed wood forest types found in southern Ontario. Today’s tree bylaws promote good forestry practices.

Townsend Lumber strongly supports local tree bylaws that both protect the long-term health of forests while still allowing land owners to participate in and have control over how they wish to manage their investment and woodlands.

Why do we need tree bylaws?

Here are just some of the reasons:
  • Tree bylaws, educational programs and other initiatives are all part of a solution to maintain and enhance our natural environment and quality of life (for us and for future generations);
  • It is important to note that Tree bylaws do not prevent landowners or loggers from earning a living from private forests (or from cutting wood for their own use or practicing good forest practices);
  • Poor forestry practices have a negative impact on forest productivity and long-term revenue, wildlife habitat, forest health, water quality, soil protection and the local forest industry.
How do tree bylaws work?

Tree bylaws have traditionally worked by specifying that trees of commercial value must reach a certain minimum size before they are harvested (by setting minimum diameters of circumferences for such trees). These diameter limits prevent clear-cutting or very heavy cutting, but are not intended to be good forestry practices. Most municipalities require people to apply for a permit to cut or harvest trees.

Ontario Forest Facts

Private forests make up about 9% of Ontario’s forested lands. They contribute to Ontario’s timber harvest and provide other products such as maple syrup. The remaining approximate 91% of Ontario forests are publicly owned and known as Crown lands.
  • 66% of Ontario is forested (71 million ha) - this is approximately 17% of Canada’s forests and 2% of the world’s forests
  • Ontario’s forests cover a land area equivalent in size to Germany, Italy and the Netherlands combined.
  • Ontario has approximately 85 billion trees
  • there are four broad forest regions in Ontario (Hudson Bay Lowlands, Boreal, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence, deciduous)
  • 61% of Ontario's forests have reached full development
  • 9% of Ontario’s forests are within Parks and Protected areas (6.4 million ha)
  • 81% of Ontario’s forests are on Crown land (public forest lands 57.5 million ha)
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