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Your go-to place for the best techniques

Your How-To Silvicultural Toolkit

Some of the ideas talked about on this site may be new to you, while others may represent small changes to current practices. Check out these videos, factsheets and guidebooks to see how you can improve outcomes on your sites using proven restoration approaches.

COSIA member companies are proud to host this Silvicultural Toolkit created in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada.


See how restoration approaches are applied and things you need to keep in mind to have success.

Site Assessment

Site Assessment: An Overview

Restoration works better with a solid plan. This video outlines factors to consider before you start restoration, empowering you to choose the right techniques for your site.

Site Preparation

Site Preparation Techniques: An Overview

During resource traction sites can be disturbed in a way that limits the re-growth of plants afterwards. Learn what mechanical techniques are available to help counteract these effects.

Mixing and Scalping

Site Preparation Techniques: Mixing and Scalping

Is your site nutrient-poor? If you need to increase the availability of nutrients at the surface of the soil, mixing or scalping can be helpful techniques.

Site Preparation Soil Decompaction

Site Preparation Techniques: Soil Decompaction

Heavy equipment can compress soils, making it difficult for plants to establish roots. Learn about three techniques to address this problem and how to choose among them.

Soil Salvage

Site Preparation Techniques: Soil Salvage

If stockpiling soils is a part of your reclamation plan, consider these tips to choose the right timing, tools and techniques to achieve your restoration goals.


Site Preparation Techniques: Mounding

Mounding is a versatile technique that can be used effectively on many types of challenging sites. This video outlines how to create and design mounds appropriately for your site.

Regeneration Technique

Regeneration Techniques: An Overview

Re-establishing plants on a site is a key restoration step that can often hit snags. Learn about the available options to help overcome these challenges.

Seeding and Natural Regeneration

Regeneration Techniques: Seeding & Natural Regeneration

Across a limited range of site conditions, seeding and natural regeneration can be an appropriate, low-cost solution to bring plants back.


Regeneration Techniques: Planting

Planting is usually more reliable than natural regeneration, giving plants a “headstart” in life. Careful planning, planting techniques and follow-up monitoring are essential to this tried-and-true technique.

Vegetation Management

Vegetation Management: An Overview

How can you ensure regeneration succeeds in the long term? Watch an overview of how to monitor and manage weeds that can hinder the establishment of target plants.

Mechanical Control

Vegetation Management: Mechanical Control

Mowing, applying mulch, and prescribed burning are just some of the options available to help control competing vegetation. Consider using these techniques together or alongside a herbicide program.

Chemical and Cultural Control

Vegetation Management: Chemical & Cultural Controls

Learn about the pros and cons of herbicide application and new, innovative planting techniques (“cultural controls”) that can help to reduce weeds.



Use these simple factsheets to explore new approaches and train your operators.

Forestry & Land Reclamation: A Natural Fit

Forestry practices are a valuable source of knowledge for operators seeking purposeful reclamation outcomes. Learn about the Silvicultural Toolkit and its four core principles.

A Guide to Site Preparation

The footprint left by infrastructure and equipment can create different challenges for establishing vegetation. The best site preparation method depends on the limiting factors present.

A Guide to Regeneration Planning

Regeneration planning is key to ensuring the establishment of target vegetation rather than undesired competitors. Careful planning can accelerate regeneration by 5-10 years or more.

A Guide to Soil Salvage

Healthy soil is essential to forest productivity. Soil salvage, the stockpiling of a site’s topsoil for later use, can aid later reclamation if done carefully.

A Guide to Soil Decompaction

Soil compaction from industrial disturbance can prevent tree establishment. Several methods for soil decompaction are available depending on site characteristics, fostering more successful outcomes.

A Guide to Planting

Planting can ensure the establishment of target species with frequently high survival rates. Proper timing and selection of microsites will help ensure successful planting.

A Guide to Natural Regeneration & Seeding

Seeding and natural regeneration are lower-cost, albeit less reliable, alternatives to planting. Careful planning and vegetation management can help avoid regeneration failure.

A Guide to Mounding

Mounding helps reclamation by creating appropriate microsites for tree establishment. Knowing when and how to use mounding properly is essential for reliable outcomes.

A Guide to Vegetation Control

Fast-growing competitor species can prevent the establishment of desired trees. Planning and prevention are the most effective ways to avoid more costly interventions.​

​A Guide to Mechanical Vegetation Control

Mechanical vegetation controls can help prevent and reduce ingress of undesirable vegetation. The mechanical control toolbox profiles available techniques, their advantages, and their disadvantages.

​A Guide to Chemical & Biological Vegetation Control

Chemicals can help control undesirable vegetation, but they require careful application. The chemical and non-chemical control toolboxes contrast the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques.


Vegetation Management for Restoring Forest Cover on Oil and Gas Sites

Regeneration Techniques for Restoring Forest Cover on Oil and Gas Sites

Site Preparation for Restoring Forest Cover on Oil and Gas Sites

Practical Tips

Intro: Bringing the Forest to the Office

Through virtual tours, COSIA member companies hope to make restoration knowledge more accessible and encourage the adoption of innovative techniques throughout in-situ oil sands operations.

Site Preparation: What’s holding it back?

The secret to site preparation is knowing your site: what conditions might make it tricky for seeds to grow? Look out for four main problems.

Desktop Planning: Mapping Your Way

The importance of desktop planning cannot be underestimated. It will help you identify the biggest bang for your restoration buck.

Planting Part I: Sowing the Seeds of Success

Learn more about how seedlings make their journey to restoration sites and the most important things practitioners should plan for.

Planting Part II: Sowing the Seeds of Success

Learn more about how seedlings make their journey to restoration sites and the most important things practitioners should plan for.

New Tools: Restoration Technologies

Being the first on board with a new technology can be risky but it can also bring huge benefits. Look at these new game-changing technologies.

Field Recon for Restoration Planning

Field verification remains a crucial step in planning. It can reveal unknown access problems, safety hazards, and beneficial advanced regeneration.

Interim Reclamation: Doing more

With little extra effort, there is a simple way to boost tree growth on temporary soil piles compared to standard practices, even on nutrient-poor soils.

The Importance of Monitoring

Monitoring is a key component to ensuring successful restoration. Without it, we can’t know what’s working, or more importantly, what needs improvement.

Timelines: 7 Steps for Planning

The more time you build into a schedule in advance, the more certainty the restoration program is built for success.

How Animals and Plants Respond

Understanding the effects of linear feature restoration on plants and animals takes a lot of work, but good science is leading the way.