Invasive Buckthorn Removal Project

Sifto Loop (Fall 2023)

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

Buckthorn is an invasive species that reproduces quickly and chokes out native trees and shrubs. This initiative is the removal of Buckthorn trees/shrubs along the Sifto Loop trail near Goderich. The work will continue until the end of 2023. 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!

Support for the Buckthorn Removal Project

Compass Minerals: $1,000

Goderich Lions: $3,000 (newspaper article below)

Note Regarding Herbicides

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

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

How can you help?

The Maitland Trail Association is seeking volunteers to assist with the Buckthorn Removal Project. Read more …

This endeavour is made possible through the hard work of dedicated volunteers who have spent over 200 hours on this project in 2023.

For more information on the Buckthorn removal projects, contact Brian McCulloch at If you would like to join MTA’s invasive species removal team, contact Kathleen 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!