The Township of Centre Wellington is committed to protecting and maintaining our municipal trees. Trees provide natural benefits and improve the look of parks, cemeteries, roadsides and boulevards. The Township is responsible for trees on municipal property only.

Tree Trimming - Fall 2018

Staff have begun trimming branches in the township to clear signs for visibility, eliminate branches from hitting vehicles and to remove low branches that hang over sidewalks.  This process could take a could take a couple of months to complete.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email us.

The Public Forest Policy was recently approved by council.  The goal of the Public Forest Policy is to enhance the condition of public trees and the quantity of public tree canopy cover in the Township.  

Annual Leaf Pickup Program

The Infrastructure Services Department will be picking up bagged leaves only (utilizing paper leaf bags), in Elora, Salem and Fergus beginning November 5 to November 23. Please place bagged leaves within one metre of the road edge. Leaves raked to the curbside or bags that contain sticks, wood or other waste will NOT be picked up. Backyard composting is another option to yard waste disposal.

Bagged leaves may also be taken to Gerrie's Garden Centre at 7646 Colborne St. Elora for a nominal fee. Brush, limbs and sticks can be taken to the Belwood Transfer Station. Garden waste, potted plants, pumpkins etc., can be taken to the Belwood or Elora Transfer Station.

Celebration Trees

Celebration Trees is a joint partnership with the Elora Environment Centre​ – NeighbourWoods on the Grand and the Township of Centre Wellington Parks and Recreation Department. For a tax-deductible donation of $225, a 6 - 8 foot native species tree is planted accompanied by an engraved plaque. You will then be invited to take part in the tree dedication.

There are now over 95 Celebration Trees gracing our local parks, offering beauty and shade for all, a home for wildlife and a special spot for family and friends to gather to celebrate and remember their loved ones. These trees are a meaningful way to commemorate an occasion or to honour a special person. They are truly a gift for the whole community.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a non-native insect pest which is advancing through Ontario threatening the existence of ash trees. The insect invades ash trees eventually killing them in a matter of a few years from the time of their initial infestation.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has taken actions to limit the spread of EAB by issuing a ministerial order to prohibit the movement of firewood of all tree species, as well as ash tree products such as nursery stock, logs, branches and wood chips, into different regions. Please buy and burn firewood locally to reduce the risk of spreading forest pests.

​What the Township is doing about EAB

The Township is progressing with the monitoring, replacement, and removal of trees infected by the EAB as part of the Management plan prepared October 28, 2015. The Management Plan identified 2,681 ash trees found in the Townships parks and along urban streets. .

In 2016, the Township began the implementation of an Emerald Ash Borer program along urban streets and public parks within its identified capital funding by taking the following actions:

  1. Dead, high risk and poor conditions ash trees on urban streets and in public parks which pose a risk to people and/or property were removed.
  2. A plantable spaces inventory and planting strategy was developed along with tree planting along urban streets and in public parks​

2018 EAB Work Plan

Monitoring of ash trees within the Township will continue throughout the year. As the management practices are implemented, the municipal inventory of the health and condition of our ash trees will be continually updated. Likewise the inventorying of ash trees located along the Townships rural roads will continue.

Proactive planting in areas where ash trees are found will be prioritized, followed by the removal of trees that are highly infested with the EAB or structurally unstable. Wherever possible replacement trees will be planted under the canopy of existing ash trees so that the newly planted trees may benefit from the shelter provided by the mature trees and the disruption of the public forest due to tree removal is limited.

In addition to the replacement planting staff will pursue opportunities for large community planting events in the Townships natural areas, industrial areas and along pathways.

Ash logs will be stockpiled at the Township Maintenance Yards. Residents are encouraged to contact the Township if they are interested in repurposing the logs in a way that does not cause the spread of EAB. Two weeks prior to the planting of new street trees, a Tree Planting Door Hanger will be delivered to the proposed planting site. In addition, a tree removal notice will be posted on ash trees prior to removal. ​Please note that any affected tree not on Township property is the responsibility of the property owner to address. When replacing trees that have been removed, a blend of tree species will be replanted in order to diversify the range of tree species types.

Tree Planting Schedule

  • Tree planting will occur during the spring and the fall season with notifications delivered prior to start of planting.
  • In most cases tree removals will occur in late fall or over the winter.
  • Community planting events will occur in the spring.

How to Identify an Ash Tree​

There are four species of ash trees found in Southern Ontario, all which are affected by the EAB infestation (white, green, red, black, and blue ash).

To determine if you have an ash tree look for the following characteristics

  • Are the twigs opposite to each other where they attach to the branch (as opposed to alternating)? If the tree has twigs that emerge from the branch opposite to each other, it may be an ash. Look at several sets of twigs though, sometimes twigs have broken off
  • Look at the leaves of the tree. Ash trees have compound leaves. A compound leaf is divided into distinct parts called leaflets, unlike a simple leaf (like an oak or maple) which is one piece
  • Ash leaves have 5-11 leaflets attached along a central stalk - 1 at the end of the stalk, and the rest arranged opposite to each other in a feather-like arrangement. The edges of ash leaflets will be either smooth or very finely toothed
  • Only female ash trees produce seeds and many trees planted in urban areas are male, so your ash tree may or may not have seeds. Ash seeds, when present, are oar-shaped and grow in bunches

Ash Trees on Private Property​

The Township is responsible for maintaining or removing Township-owned ash trees (in Township road allowances, parks and natural areas). Private property owners are responsible for removing and disposing of affected ash trees that are found on their property. It is recommended that the owner use a certified arborist and ensure that ash trees are removed in a safe and timely manner. Ash trees should be removed promptly following mortality in order to minimize risk to people and property.

Report A Problem

 If you have a question or concern related to a municipal tree, please contact our Infrastructure Services customer service staff.

Tips for Compost and Mulching

The Infrastructure Services Department encourages, where possible, mulching leaves with a mower. Valuable nutrients will be returned to the soil in a form that can be used by plants. Spreading the mulched leaves in flowerbeds will help prevent frost from damaging sensitive perennials.

Leaf composting is also encouraged. Using standard composting methods, add layers of alternating green (green leaves and plants) and brown materials (dried leaves and plants) to your compost pile and layer with garden soil or compost. In the spring, you will have a nutrient rich supply of compost to use on your lawn and garden.

Using mulch and compost in your garden and flowerbeds will help conserve soil moisture and will return nutrients to the soil providing beautiful gardens that will require less watering and maintenance.

Tree Planting

Tree planting and tree maintenance is either contracted out or undertaken by staff on an annual basis. If you wish to have a tree planted on a piece of municipal property (boulevards, roadsides etc.) adjacent to your property, contact the Infrastructure Services Department and your request will be reviewed.

Centre Wellington participates in the County's Green Legacy program

Fall Tree Planting Opportunities:

Cottontail Road Trail Planting
Saturday October 20, 2018
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (rain or shine)
7397 Wellington Rd 21, Elora


Our fall planting event will take place adjacent to the Cottontail Road Trail and is open to any and all community volunteers. We encourage families to attend and receive a tutorial from staff about proper horticulture practices, the importance of native species and conservation, and of course plant some trees!

Plants, buckets and mulch will be provided but volunteers are asked to bring a wheelbarrow and shovel. There is parking for approximately seven cars at the trailhead parking lot along Wellington Rd 21. We would request that those spaces be reserved for families with young children and that other volunteers park along the road.

If you have any questions please contact us.


Cottontrail Tree Planting map


Spring 2018 Tree Planting

A big thank you to everyone who volunteered their time to help make Centre Wellington a greener and healthier place to live.

Our spring volunteer tree planting kicked off with the Earth Day Rotary Club Native Garden Demonstration at the Fergus Sportsplex on April 28. On a cold April morning over a dozen Rotarians converged at the north-west corner of the Sportsplex lawn to install six mixed species native gardens. All 90 trees and shrubs planted were donated by Green Legacy a wonderful program run by our friends at the County. Some unique plants included Shagbark Hickory, American Plum, and Swamp Rose. This was an important project that contributed to the Rotary Clubs goal for every member to plant a tree in 2018 as well as an opportunity to plant trees that will one day replace a mature row of Green Ash trees that are slowly succumbing to the Emerald Ash Borer.

The second event of the season was the Trestle Bridge Trail Community Plant which occurred on May 5. During the summer of 2017 many ash trees were removed from the trail between Bridge Street and South River Road Elora in advance of trail widening and resurfacing that occurred that fall. This presented an opportunity for community volunteers to participate in trail planting in order to increase biodiversity, restore shade and privacy, and fill spaces in the canopy that could otherwise become colonised by invasive species.  On a beautiful spring morning community volunteers planted 290 native trees and shrubs that were obtained from the Grand River Conservation Authority at a low cost including Swamp White Oak, Bitternut Hickory, and Black Elderberry among others. We would like to thank Craig Cameron, Ann Ironside, and Dick Harmon for their hard work organizing and participating in the event. We would like to also give a special thanks Cheryl at Vintner’s Cellar Elora for generously donating five gallons pails that proved invaluable, Jayson at CanSafe – Safety Zone Fergus for his kind donation of much needed work gloves, and Terry from Friends of the Grand for loaning us planting shovels.

The final planting event was the Communitrees Trailway Planting Day which also took place along the Trestle Bridge Trail in Elora on May 26th. Communitrees not only provided the plants but they also provided the expertise and volunteers to remove invasive species and replace them with the appropriate native species for each planting location and its associated forest cover. Invasive plants removed included European Buckthorn, exotic bush honeysuckles, and garlic mustard among others. Over 30 native trees and shrubs of a significant size were planted including Chinquapin Oak, Hackberry, and Alternate Leaved Dogwood.

 Tree Trimming and Removal

Township staff will evaluate any potentially unsafe, dead or diseased tree on municipal property and recommend a specific course of action.  If one of these trees is near a home and requires removal, the resident will be notified. However, if the condition of the tree requires immediate action, the Township is authorized to immediately remove the limb or tree at their discretion. Trees will be trimmed if they are blocking signs or signal lights.

Contact Us

Township of Centre Wellington
1 MacDonald Square, Elora, Ontario, Canada, N0B 1S0
Phone: 519.846.9691
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