PPG Members Plant Trees and Learn about YTMP
On Saturday, September 24th, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) Partners in Project Green (PPG) Members, and People Power Challenge (PPC) competitors, met at Conservation Drive Park in Brampton to participate in PPG’s Fall Planting event. Participants planted 200 native trees and shrubs to enhance a portion of a large restoration site, enjoyed a sunny day of communal interaction, and received training in TRCA’s citizen science Young Tree and Shrub Monitoring and Maintenance Program (YTMP).
What is YTMP?
The Young Tree and Shrub Monitoring and Maintenance Program (YTMP) is a monitoring program for all TRCA new plantings. Through YTMP, a portion of plants are tagged with a unique identification number, measurements are taken, general health is recorded, and a maintenance program is put in place for three to five years. Staff and volunteers return to the site each year to remeasure, perform maintenance by removing invasive and competitive vegetation, water the plants, and record general observations of impacts from insect infestation, disease, and storm events, to track the success of plant material. This data assists in determining the best plant species for specific site conditions to obtain a higher success level when establishing a healthy diverse ecosystem in natural areas.
To start the assessment, trees and shrubs are measured at the root base with a caliper. Next, they are measured for height, and canopy (width and length between the furthest leaf buds on deciduous or furthest foliage for conifers. Finally, the plant is tagged and marked with a flag (so it can be easily spotted). All metrics are recorded so that when the next TRCA employee or volunteer revisits the site, they can measure the plant’s growth, and any changes to the leaves and/or buds.