Trees and shovels: ready for planting

Forêt Capitale Forest aims to mitigate climate change by increasing the biomass and forest canopy of lands, whether public or private, in the Canada’s capital region.

We carry out and support the planning, planting, and management of lands to maximizes carbon sequestration while preserving and enhancing biological diversity.

FCF also seeks to maximize public engagement and raise awareness of the importance of forests and biodiversity.

Thank you South Nation Conservation and Councillor Catherine Kitts, Merci!

Thank you to Councillor Catherine Kitts and South Nation Conservation for their Community Environmental Grant funding! Councillor Kitts also showed her support for Forêt Capitale Forest at our Hog’s Back Planting event back in the Fall. We can’t wait to continue working together in 2022 on some great new projects. Thank you South Nation Conservation and Councillor Kitts! 

Merci à la conseillère Catherine Kitts et à la Conservation de la Nation Sud pour le financement de leur subvention environnementale communautaire ! La conseillère Kitts a également montré son soutien pour la Forêt Capitale Forest avec sa participation à notre événement de plantation Hog’s Back à l’automne. Nous avons hâte de continuer à travailler ensemble en 2022 sur de nouveaux projets. Merci à la Conservation de la Nation Sud et à la conseillère Kitts !

Short and Sweet: Why Urban Forests?

Although trees may not look like money-making machines, the benefits and services that they provide to us make them an extremely valuable, and measurable resource! Ecosystems and trees provide us with three different kinds of service values: social, economic, and environmental benefits. When we consider all of these, it’s no wonder why we need to protect and enhance our urban forest cover and support projects like Forêt Capitale Forest’s goal to plant 1 million trees. 

To get into the specifics of it, we can either realise the value of forests in terms of use-values, like forestry products, or non-use values, like the psychological and social benefits that come from interacting with them. For example, our Food Forests at the Just Food Community farm has both! We get to harvest, share and enjoy all the wonderful organic foods that we produce at the farm, and, at the same time, we get to share, learn, and experience the forest as a social and educational tool. It’s not only people that benefit from urban forests, but many other creatures like birds and bugs get to enjoy these spaces too.

Already convinced that urban forests are super cool? There’s one more way urban forests help out, they’re called supporting and regulating services. These ones are a little harder to notice, but arguably the most important! Have you ever noticed the crisp, cool air when on a morning walk in the forest, or how crystal clear streams run through our neighbourhoods? Trees help out with these kinds of things by helping cycle air and water through the environment. At the same time, they help to keep the temperature down on hot days, support our shorelines and healthy soils, and provide critical habitat to the species we love. 

You can read more about how our urban forests help to support our lives at these links. Feel free to share any articles you find interesting with us too! 

Green Infrastructure Ontario: Benefits of the Urban Forest in a municipal context

Tree Canada: Benefits of Urban Forests

One Tree Planted: What Is Urban Forestry? 

FCF Recognized by SOUL Greener Greenspace Program!

Exciting news here at FCF! We are thrilled to announce that we’ve been recognized as part of The Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL)’s Greener Greenspace program! SOUL is a Canadian organization that cares deeply about responsible land stewardship and started this program to share and inspire ecologically-focused land care across the country.

SOUL gave us a huge thumbs-up for our attention to organic soil regeneration practices and for the food forests at the Just Food farm in Blackburn Hamlet. Check out SOUL’s website for a map of Greener Greenspaces across Canada and explore more ecologically-focused projects like ours. 

Keep an eye out for FCF on SOUL’s social media and tune into ‘SOUL’s 2022 Year of the Ecological Garden’ Zoom series, where the work of Forêt Capitale Forest will be profiled. You can find them at SOUL Organic Land Care on Facebook and on Twitter @SOULandCare.

#GreenerGreenspace #ForêtCapitaleForest #Ottawa #FoodForest #Non-profit #Award #Environment

Challenges: The Gypsy Moth

With winter soon approaching, Forêt Capitale Forest needs to reflect on the challenges, along with the successes, that our tree stock has so resiliently faced throughout the year. One of these challenges was the gypsy moth.

The gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) is a European insect that was unintentionally introduced to Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces in the 70s. Today the gypsy moth is most prevalent in Southern Ontario and, common outbreaks occur every 7 to 10 years.  

Some of the common trees affected include oak (Quercus spp.), maple (Acer spp.), birch (Betula spp.), white pine (Pinus strobus), and white spruce (Picea glauca). One gypsy moth can eat up to 1,000 square centimetres of leaves.

While defoliation by the gypsy moth can delay growth and wood quality, it typically does not cause a tree to perish. Trees will produce additional leaves later in the growing season to accommodate for the loss. 

Methods of Control

  • With gloved hands, pick off or scrape caterpillars and larvae and put them into soapy water or bleach for 48 hours.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki – A biological insecticide found at most hardware stores. 
  • Alternatively, you can try biodegradable sprays (use with caution, as not to disturb other insects or wildlife)
  • Dormant oil combined with lime sulphur
  • The most common method of control is to use a folded piece of burlap. You will need to tie the burlap around the trunk of the tree with a string. Gypsy moths will get caught or conjugate in the burlap, which can then be removed and shaken into your compost bin and reapplied to the tree.

Tip: Ensure you check the underside of branches, tree trunks, fences, firewood, outdoor furniture, swing sets, boats, trailers and under the eaves of buildings for egg masses.

The City of Ottawa is monitoring the ongoing outbreak. The outbreak is estimated to last two to three years. While the Lymantria dispar dispar poses a challenge, Forêt Capitale Forest will monitor trees accordingly to ensure ongoing efforts are not affected.


Butterfly Conservation. (n.d.). Gypsy moth. Gypsy Moth. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/gypsy-moth. 

Fleming, T. (2021, June 18). Gypsy moth caterpillars invade Ottawa’s trees this spring. Ottawa. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/gypsy-moth-caterpillars-invade-ottawa-s-trees-this-spring-1.5476961. 

National Capital Commission. (n.d.). Management of lymantria dispar dispar moth. Management of Lymantria dispar dispar Moth. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from https://ncc-ccn.gc.ca/projects/management-of-the-ldd-moth. 

Public Works and Environmental Services Dept. (2021, April 19). Gypsy moths. City of Ottawa. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from https://ottawa.ca/en/living-ottawa/environment-conservation-and-climate/trees-and-urban-forests/tree-and-forest-health/gypsy-moths#european-gypsy-moths-lymantria-dispar-dispar. 

Westoll, N. (2021, June 17). Outbreak of gypsy moth caterpillars ravaging trees in Ontario and there could be record damage. Global News. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from https://globalnews.ca/news/7948202/gypsy-moth-caterpillars-ontario-trees/. 

Défis: La spongieuse

La spongieuse (Lymantria dispar dispar) est un insecte européen qui a été introduit involontairement en Ontario, au Québec et dans les provinces maritimes dans les années 70. Aujourd’hui, la spongieuse est plus répandue dans le sud de l’Ontario et des épidémies se produisent tous les 7 à 10 ans. 

Parmi les arbres communément touchés, on trouve le chêne (Quercus spp.), l’érable (Acer spp.), le bouleau (Betula spp.), le pin blanc (Pinus strobus) et l’épinette blanche (Picea glauca). Une seule spongieuse peut manger jusqu’à 1 000 centimètres carrés de feuilles.

Si la défoliation par la spongieuse peut retarder la croissance et la qualité du bois, elle n’entraîne généralement pas la mort de l’arbre. Les arbres produiront des feuilles supplémentaires plus tard dans la saison de croissance pour compenser la perte.

Méthodes de Lutte

  • Avec des mains gantées, arrachez ou grattez les chenilles et les larves et mettez-les dans de l’eau savonneuse ou de l’eau de Javel pendant 48 heures.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki – Un insecticide biologique que l’on trouve dans la plupart des quincailleries. 
  • Huile de dormance combinée au soufre de chaux 
  • La méthode de lutte la plus courante consiste à utiliser un morceau de toile de jute plié. Vous devrez attacher la toile de jute autour du tronc de l’arbre avec une ficelle. Les spongieuses se prendront ou se conjugueront dans la toile de jute, qui peut ensuite être retirée et secouée dans votre bac à compost et réappliquée sur l’arbre.

Conseil: Vérifiez le dessous des branches, des troncs d’arbre, des clôtures, du bois de chauffage, des meubles d’extérieur, des balançoires, des bateaux, des remorques et sous les avant-toits des bâtiments pour voir s’il y a des masses d’œufs.

La ville d’Ottawa supervise l’épidémie en cours et prévoit qu’elle durera de deux à trois ans. Bien que le Lymantria dispar pose un défi, Forêt Capitale surveillera les arbres en conséquence pour s’assurer que les efforts en cours ne sont pas affectés.


Conservation des papillons. (s.d.). Gypsy moth. Gypsy Moth. Consulté le 15 septembre 2021 à l’adresse https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/gypsy-moth. 

Fleming, T. (2021, 18 juin). Les chenilles de la spongieuse envahissent les arbres d’Ottawa ce printemps. Ottawa. Consulté le 15 septembre 2021 à l’adresse https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/gypsy-moth-caterpillars-invade-ottawa-s-trees-this-spring-1.5476961.

Commission de la capitale nationale. (s.d.). Gestion du papillon de nuit Lymantria dispar dispar. Gestion du papillon de nuit Lymantria dispar dispar. Consulté le 15 septembre 2021 à l’adresse https://ncc-ccn.gc.ca/projects/management-of-the-ldd-moth. 

Public Works and Environmental Services Dept. (2021, 19 avril). La spongieuse. Ville d’Ottawa. Consulté le 15 septembre 2021 à l’adresse https://ottawa.ca/en/living-ottawa/environment-conservation-and-climate/trees-and-urban-forests/tree-and-forest-health/gypsy-moths#european-gypsy-moths-lymantria-dispar-dispar.

Westoll, N. (2021, 17 juin). L’épidémie de chenilles de la spongieuse ravage les arbres en Ontario et les dommages pourraient atteindre un niveau record. Global News. Consulté le 15 septembre 2021 à l’adresse https://globalnews.ca/news/7948202/gypsy-moth-caterpillars-ontario-trees/.