Residents who may be using area forests are being reminded that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will be starting an aerial chemical herbicide spray August 1st.

A total of 629 hectares have been identified for the 2023-2024 spray project for the Dryden Forest, these areas were seeded in the years between 2017 and 2022 with black and white spruce, along with lesser amounts of jack pine.

The campaign is targeting trees which compete against those coniferous trees on harvest sites.

Those competitors include poplar trees, herbaceous weeds, raspberries and alder.

A spokesperson for the MNRF says stress on a seedling after planting can be intensified by growth of non-crop vegetation, especially during the first two years, which could result on decreased growth.

Aerial herbicides, according to the Ministry, is the most effective tool to ensure the survival of planted series, and the reduction of competing vegetation can result in one or more of the following attributes.

➢ tree survival

➢ diameter, height, basal area growth

➢ individual tree, and stand volume growth

➢ crown length and width

➢ bud size

➢ needle number, colour, length and retentively

➢ nutrient status

➢ tree vigour and resistance to damage from insects

Areas slated to be sprayed will be posted with signs in both English and Ojicree at all reasonable points of access, such as forest roads.

They will remain in place for 30 days after the application, and will indicated the date the spraying occurred, the herbicide used, and the date when affected berries can be consumed among other information.

No exact date has been given for when the spraying will end, as it depends on a variety of factors including wind and humidity.

The herbicide needs to be applied before the deciduous tree species go dormant for the year, which given that requirement, most aerial spray programs will be completed by mid to late September.

Similar aerial herbicide projects are also set to take place beginning August 1st in the Wabigoon, Trout Lake, Pik and Kenogami Forests.