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Tiny officials 'keeping an eye' on new tree disease in Springwater

Invasive tree disease ‘does not affect human or animal health, which is important to note’ says Tiny public works director

Tiny Township public works officials are getting to the root of a new tree disease to the region.

Oak wilt is an invasive species recently found in Springwater Township, a neighbouring municipality to the south of Tiny. 

Although the species of fungus has been present in the United States for many years, it appeared this month in the Niagara Falls region as the first confirmed Canadian detection; Springwater received the second detection.

Due to its proximity to Tiny Township, public works director Tim Leitch provided an update to council during their recent regular meeting and explained the threat of the tree disease.

“Red oaks are particularly susceptible, resulting in tree death within a single season,” said Leitch, reading from the Canadian website release. “Oak wilt is spread naturally through root grafts or beetles carrying fungal spores. Oak wilt does not affect human or animal health, which is important to note.”

Leitch added: “We’ll be keeping an eye on it; we’ll be working with our partner in the Severn Sound Environmental Association, and also continue to gather information. And we’ll monitor the situation as it impacts not only throughout Canada but also as it may impact Tiny."

For their assurance, Leitch informed council and the public that he would be attending an information session held by the Invasive Species Centre on Thursday to learn more about oak wilt, and would follow through with the Tiny clerk’s department to coordinate putting out information on oak wilt through communication channels and on the township website.

According to a 2022 tree canopy report, Tiny Township is host to 3,400 acres of Simcoe County forest within municipal limits which are also managed by the county’s forestry department to ensure they are kept healthy and sustainable.

Archives of council meetings are available to view on Tiny township’s YouTube channel.

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Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Derek Howard covers Midland and Penetanguishene area civic issues under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada.
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