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Maitland Trail Association

Invasive Buckthorn Removal Project

In collaboration with Compass Minerals, the Maitland Trail Association’s Invasive Buckthorn Removal Project is underway.

Sifto Loop

Buckthorn is an invasive species that reproduces quickly and chokes out native trees and shrubs. This project involves the removal of Buckthorn trees/shrubs along the Sifto Loop Trail. The  work began in the fall of 2023 and continued through the winter of 2024. The process will ultimately benefit the health of the forest. 

There is no single method that is effective in removing unwanted plant species. A combination is necessary. The project involves:

  • cutting the Buckthorn;

  • clearing the cut trees;

  • spraying the stumps with herbicide;

  • ensuring an opportunity for native trees to grow; and

  • returning to the site in two years to monitor and remove any new growth.


This project is made possible with funding support received from the Invasive Species Centre’s Invasive Species Action Fund and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Thank you to the many volunteers and groups that are taking action to manage invasive plant species on our trails!

Maitland Trail
Support for the Buckthorn Removal Project

Compass Minerals:      $1,000

Invasive Species Centre: $3,000

Goderich Lions:           $3,000

Maitland Trail Association
More About Buckthorn

MTA Newsletter, November 2023
by Brian McCulloch
Project Update from the MTA Eco/Enviro Subcommittee

Education News Canada, October 31, 2023
What is buckthorn and why is it harmful? Western University Student Project

Along the Thames River

Buckthorn Sign 1

Herbicides will be applied according to regulations. This type of sign will be posted before, during, and after spraying (the required 48 hours).  The herbicide will be sprayed directly onto the buckthorn by certified sprayers (not broad spraying/fogging). Hikers should not have any contact with the substance unless they leave the trail. Dogs should always be on leash (and kept away from stumps). Sprayed stumps may be covered with black bags. ​ The herbicide used is called Garlon RTU. (RTU means ready to use straight from the box without mixing.)  The active ingredient is triclopyr. Click here to view the herbicide label with the toxicological information. ​ If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Maitland Trail Association at

Buckthorn Sign 2
How Can You Help?

The Maitland Trail Association is seeking volunteers to assist with the Buckthorn Removal Project. This endeavour is made possible through the hard work of dedicated volunteers who spent over 200 hours on this project in 2023. For more information on the Buckthorn removal projects, contact Brian McCulloch at The Maitland Trail Association has been blazing trails since 1975. Our mission is to support the Community of Goderich and all who use our trails for generations to come. You can support the Maitland Trail Association by making a donation or by joining us as a volunteer or as a member. Thank you!

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