Rideau Hall Sugar Bush

Forest Management Plan for Rideau Hall

In April 2001, IFS Associates was retained by the National Capital Commission (NCC) to inventory and investigate the vegetation within the sugar bush of Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General.

The objectives of this study were to: i) quantify the tree and shrub vegetation within the 4.5 ha sugar bush; ii) identify approaches for managing the sugar bush in the long-term; iii) set tapping guidelines for maple syrup production; iv) outline methods to control the spread of invasive plant species within the sugar bush; and, v) identify and assess any pests and/or diseases found to be threatening the health of the forest.

The management priorities for the Rideau Hall sugar bush were to:

  • Produce maple syrup
  • Favour native overstory and understory vegetation
  • Improve screening along adjacent roadways

Given the cultural significance of Rideau Hall as one of Canada’s premier heritage sites, some important considerations in undertaking this study were to:

  • Enhance the aesthetic appeal of the site.
  • Ensure that management interventions do not interfere with public safety, usage of the site or its present aesthetic appeal.
  • Favour vegetation representative of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Forest Region (the region within which the sugar bush is situated) in order to promote sustainability and aesthetics through diversity and natural succession.

In undertaking this project, IFS Associates:

  • Inventoried slope vegetation (species, size, condition) and grouped areas of similar vegetation into compartments.
  • Identified an overall strategy and developed specific forest management regimes to achieve the above-mentioned objectives.
  • Established permanent sample plots at points within the sugar bush to facilitate monitoring the results of management interventions over future years.
  • Provided an implementation strategy for those areas requiring management intervention.

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