Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is continuing its efforts to bring back healthy forests to Rattray Marsh Conservation Area in Mississauga. CVC is installing deer exclusion fencing from June to August 2022 to protect newly planted trees and shrubs from deer feeding. Over 2,400 native trees and shrubs have been planted and another 900 will be planted this year.
The exclusion fencing will be installed within five forest restoration areas.
“The planted trees and shrubs are critical to restore healthy forest habitat to Rattray Marsh and recover from significant losses of ash trees due to the invasive emerald ash borer,” said Aaron Day, R.P.F., Program Manager, Forestry at CVC. “If left unprotected, a significant portion of the tree and shrub plantings will be destroyed, resulting in re-invasion of non-native invasive plants and the return to a low-quality habitat.”
Early efforts to apply natural deer deterrents have not prevented heavy grazing by deer, leading to stunted growth and significant tree mortality.
Deer exclusion fencing has decades of research and application in Ontario and the northeastern U.S. It has proven to be the most effective way to ensure survival of planted and naturally regenerated plants in areas where deer can have a significant impact. The temporary fencing will not impact the movement of wildlife through the conservation area and the fence mesh size allows small mammals, reptiles and amphibians to pass through.
Fencing will be installed and maintained for approximately five years to allow trees to grow to a height where most of the leaves and branches are above the reach of deer and shrubs are established.
Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is a local conservation authority established by the Ontario government in 1954 to protect, restore and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River Watershed. Our watershed is defined by the area of land where all rainfall, snowmelt and runoff drain into lands and waters flowing into the Credit River. CVC creates connections between people and nature, knowledge and action. We inspire a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping people connected, healthy and happy. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.
Nicole Di Cintio
Specialist, Marketing & Communications
Credit Valley Conservation