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.

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



Spring 2019 Tree Planting Opportunities


Elora Meadows Park

109 Marr Dr, Salem

Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (rain or shine)

We ask volunteers to register by email prior to April 5.

Our first planting event of the year will take place near Elora Meadows Park. There will be ample parking along Marr drive and a paved walkway leading to the planting site overlooking the storm water management pond.

This event is appropriate for all ages and will involve planting native trees and shrubs of different sizes. All plants for this event have been grown and cared for by Green Legacy staff and volunteers. The intent of the naturalization project is to add plant and species diversity to the area beside the storm pond. This will help rehabilitate the fragmented remnant woodlot north of the pond by joining it to the natural area south of the pond.

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, mulch, gloves and buckets will be provided but volunteers are asked to bring a wheelbarrow and shovel.

Please register by email.


Harper Crescent Park
95 Harper Cres, Fergus
Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (rain or shine)

We ask volunteers to register by email prior to April 12.

Harper Crescent Park is a passive park located between Harper Crescent and the Fergus water tower. The park is an old spruce and pine tree plantation that is perfect for walking but can be wet after heavy rain events. This planting event will introduce new species of native deciduous tree and shrubs to some of the wetter areas. It will also improve the experience of park users by adding plants that will attract birds and add colour and interest.

A mix of canopy trees like shagbark hickory, understory trees like paw paw, and shrubs like bush honeysuckle will be planted. The technique used for this planting event will be pit and mound planting which simulates the landscape of a mature forest created by tree falling and decomposing and causes hills and depressions to be formed which trap nutrients and moisture and create opportunities for different plants to flourish.

The event is appropriate for all ages. The pits and mounds will be created prior to the event with heavy machinery. The Township will also provide all plants, mulch, gloves and buckets but volunteers are asked to bring a wheelbarrow and shovel.

Please register by email.

 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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