Forest Floor Mat Transplanting in Sudbury (2012)

Since 1978, the City of Greater Sudbury, Ontario, has undertaken re-greening efforts to replace tree and vegetation cover on 82,000 ha that had been historically denuded by smelter emissions. To further these efforts, and protect the fragile new growth from anticipated climate change impacts, the City initiated a program to transplant forest floor mats from old growth forest areas scheduled for depletion to accommodate the widening of Highway 69, to the newly planted areas. The forest floor mats add plant and micro-organism diversity promoting healthy trees and help to protect the new vegetation from climate impacts such as extreme heat, wind or precipitation events.

The case study reviews the details of the program and highlights the challenges and lessons learned that have emerged from this endeavour.