tulip tree


The DeCloet Forest is a 121-acre parcel of land characterized by rolling hills and a cold water creek winding through the mature deciduous and hemlock forests that cover the property.

The property was donated to Norfolk County by Mr. Paul DeCloet through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s “Ecological Gift Program”. Through this donation, the entire property will be made accessible to the public and Norfolk County will be managing and protecting this environmentally sensitive property in perpetuity.

This outstanding and diverse forest is the result of over 40 years of hard work and dedication on behalf of Mr. DeCloet.


The DeCloet Forest is a 50-hectare parcel of land comprised of a diverse mix of vegetation cover including sugar maple deciduous forest, sugar maple/hemlock mixed forest, silver maple deciduous swamp, and gray dogwood thickets. The mix of upland, lowland and wetland areas benefits many native wildlife species such as the red fox, American badger, long-eared owl, winter wren and wood thrush.

There are 26 native tree species within the Paul DeCloet Forest, including several species unique to the Carolinian Zone of Canada such as tulip tree, sassafras, black gum, shagbark hickory, and bitternut hickory.

The property forms part of the Clear Creek Valley, providing habitat to several rare animal species. The two main branches of Clear Creek converge within the Paul DeCloet Forest before emptying into Lake Erie approximately seven kilometres south of the property.

The local area is host to an abundance of biodiversity, and the Long Point area serves as an important passage and stopover location for migratory birds and waterfowl.

Paul DeCloet
Paul DeCloet was born in a small Belgian town called Aarsele in 1943. He immigrated to Norfolk County with his parents, Omer and Maria, and eight siblings in 1953.

The family prospered in the tobacco industry and Mr. DeCloet started farming by continuing the family tobacco-growing tradition at a farm one mile west of this forest. He soon diversified into Christmas trees and also purchased several forested properties. This one became his pride and joy.

Through an agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the forest was managed with a focus on removing low-quality and defective trees and creating conditions that allow for a diverse mix of species to establish. As a result, the forest is left with an abundance of healthy, high-quality trees. Mr. DeCloet was intensively involved in all aspects of the management which provided the opportunity to learn about many different aspects of forest management.

As a member of the Ontario Forestry Association, Mr. DeCloet was recognized with the Tree Farmer award. He is a Norfolk Woodlot Owners Association member and a past trustee with Trees Ontario. Mr. DeCloet is also a past appointee of the Long Point Region Conservation Authority and served four years as chairman from 1992-1995. As a Lions Club member, he spearheaded the group assisting with tree planting on Nature Conservancy of Canada properties.

Trees are also a hobby for Mr. DeCloet. He raises tulip trees, which he happily shares with local residents. Over his life, he has been responsible for planting more than 100,000 trees on DeCloet family farms.

Common Name Scientific Name
Red Maple Acer rubrum
Silver Maple Acer saccharinum
Sugar Maple Acer saccharum
Yellow Birch Betula alleghaniensis
Bitternut Hickory Carya cordiformis
Shagbark Hickory Carya ovata
American Beech Fagus grandifolia
Black Walnut Juglands nigra
Butternut Juglans cinerea
European Larch Larix decidua
Tulip-tree Liriodendron tulipifera
Malus sp. Malus sp.
Black Gum Nyssa sylvatica
Ironwood Ostrya virginiana
Eastern White Pine Pinus strobus
Eastern Cottonwood Populus deltoides
Large-tooth Aspen Populus grandidentata
Trembling Aspen Populus tremuloides
Black Cherry Prunus serotina
White Oak Quercus alba
Swamp White Oak Quercus bicolor
Burr Oak Quercus macrocarpa
Red Oak Quercus rubra
Willow sp. Salix sp.
Sassafras Sassafras albidum
American Basswood Tilia americana
Eastern Hemlock Tsuga canadensis
American Elm Ulmus americana
Red Elm Ulmus rubra