You are about to embark on a journey through the rich ecosystem that makes up Five Points Forest. One of the interesting aspects of this property is the fact that it is in the Carolinian forest zone but the canopy trees are representative of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence forest. Tamarack, a boreal forest species, is also present. But this is what makes the Carolinian zone so biologically diverse! Some plants we normally find farther north have colonized sites like Five Points Forest centuries ago and have never relinquished them to the trees from farther south.
Five Points Forest is part of the Carolinian life zone of eastern North America and characterized by a predominance of deciduous (broad-leafed) trees and high biodiversity. The Carolinian zone is 0.25% of Canada’s area but contains 25% of Canada’s population. Because of this, the Carolinian zone is very vulnerable to human and climate related impacts. The Carolinian zone is home to 40% of the species at risk in Canada. Five Points Forest is located within the Thames River Watershed, in Ingersoll, Ontario with public access from 4975 Robinson Road. This property also contains Provincially Significant Wetlands and rare ecological communities for this part of the province.
History of the Property
Uplands of the Five Points Forest were farmed until 1940s-50s and then abandoned. These areas have reforested naturally but also include some older coniferous plantings. The rolling sections were never cleared. Al and Lilianne Driedger purchased the first parcel (28 acres) in 1987 and the second (50 acres) in 1989. In 1993, the Driedgers built a home on the highest point of the property, connected to Robinson Rd. by a long gravel driveway.
The Driedgers as good stewards of the land, have planted trees and maintained hiking trails. The Driedgers desired to protect the land in the public interest for its conservation and educational values. In 2007 the Driedgers applied for a conservation severance for the 5 acres surrounding the homestead and donated the residual wooded area of 74 acres to the Thames Talbot Land Trust in 2009.
A large portion of the upland part of the property has regrown into secondary mixed forest composed of an understory of Black Cherry, White Ash and patches of Eastern White Cedar and declining hawthorns and apples, beneath a canopy of Trembling Aspen and declining White Ash. Scots Pine has been planted here in the past, but has been removed over the last few years to promote the growth of native deciduous trees; and the remaining trees are now declining. An active program of Common Buckthorn eradication is also underway on this property.
A mature, upland deciduous forest dominated by Sugar Maple and with a rich ground layer occupies a small ridge and adjacent area both north and south of the center of the wetland. Other tree species include American Beech, Red Maple, Red Oak, Ironwood, American Basswood, Yellow Birch, Eastern White Cedar, White Ash, Bitternut Hickory and Alternate-leaved Dogwood. A lowland forest of Red Maple and Yellow Birch occupies a portion of the bottomland area.
 Carolinian Canada. (2015). Retrieved from: https://caroliniancanada.ca/legacy/.../CarolinianCanadabrochure.pdf