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What is AshNet?

AshNet is a network of scientists, foresters, industry and government (federal and provincial) representatives who are actively investigating the potential for reducing waste and improving forest health by applying wood ash from bioenergy production to forest soils.

AshNet is funded by the Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD).

Why study wood ash?

When trees are cut and processed for timber or pulp and paper production, branches, bark and other small pieces of wood are removed from the tree stems. This woody material is often burned for energy in industrial or commercial boilers. It is common for the remaining ash to be treated as waste and sent to the landfill. Yet, wood ash is rich in nutrients. By applying it to forest soils, wood ash could provide several benefits for the forest and reduce landfill usage.

The application of wood ash, also called bioenergy ash, to forest soils is not a common practice in Canadian forestry.

Wood ash
In Canada, wood ash from bioenergy production is most often landfilled

About this online resource

The information you’ll find on the AshNet project webpages site has been researched, written and developed by AshNet members, who also help coordinate original research about the effects of soil applications of wood ash on tree growth and forest ecology.

To access scientific, technological, regulatory and economic information about methods of applying bioenergy ash to the soil as an environmentally and economically sustainable forest management practice, see AshNet publications and presentations.


Dave Morris, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Janet Mitchell, FP Innovations
Nathan Basiliko, Laurentian University
Amanda Diochon, Lakehead University
Nancy Luckai, Lakehead University
Michael Rutherford, University of Northern British Columbia
John Markham, University of Manitoba
Suzanne Brais, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Nicolas Bélanger, Université du Québec, TÉLUQ
Ken Van Rees, University of Saskatchewan
Gordon Murray, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
Gerry McKenna, Ontario Power Generation
Rob Lyng, Ontario Power Generation
Mike Jull, Aleza Lake Research Forest
Kirsten Hannam, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Norman Yan, Friends of Muskoka Watershed
Shakira Azan, Friends of Muskoka Watershed
Richard Kabzems, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Trevor Jones, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre

Team members

Darren Allen, Forest Research Officer
Isabelle Aubin, Forest Vegetation Ecologist
Doreen Churchill, Forestry Liaison Officer
Caroline Emilson, Forest Bioenergy Analyst
Rob Fleming, Research Scientist
Emily Hope, Forest Resource Economist
Jérôme Laganière, Research Scientist
Dan McKenney, Chief, Landscape Analysis and Applications
Lisa Venier, Research Scientist
Kara Webster, Research Scientist

For more information on AshNet work or if you are interested in contributing to AshNet, please contact Caroline Emilson, Doreen Churchill and Jérôme Laganière.

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