Welcome to first edition of the Prince Edward Island Woodlot Owners Association (PEIWOA) 2018 Newsletter. The intent of these quarterly newsletters is to provide PEIWOA members with a summary of forestry and forest-related issues, opportunities, and happenings throughout PEI and the Atlantic region.
The PEIWOA is a new organization developed for Woodlot owners on Prince Edward Island. The Association is an inclusive group of woodlot owners that encourages Islanders to create a more sustainable forest ecosystem and forest resource on PEI. We thank all members for supporting this new initiative and hope that together we can continue to grow this group with a goal of enhancing the forest economy and forest industry of the Island. PEI woodlot owners have a large role to play on the Island and we are committed to being a voice for all concerns of members at a provincial and regional level.
January Report — 2018 – PEI Woodlot Owners Association
“Happy New Year” to all from the Board of Directors of the PEIWOA. Welcome to the first newsletter of 2018. We aim to publish three or four during the fiscal year and welcome articles from anyone who would like to write on a timely topic for the woodlot community.
We are in the planning stages of setting up an advisory group to work with our new Minister of Communities, Land and Environment — the Hon. Richard Brown. We hope it will include individuals from watershed groups; woodlot owners; and members from government departments like forestry and environment. There are a number of issues that we feel are important to the woodlot owners of PEI and we want to work with everyone to improve our industry and the environment.
During the month of December, we had an opportunity to meet with our Members of Parliament — representing PEI in Ottawa – and briefed them on proposals that are now before parliament that were presented by the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners (CFWO) – of which we are a member. We hope to be included in the Low Carbon Economy Fund later this spring which will allow us to double the amount of trees planted and increase the amount of silviculture work in each province. We also had an opportunity to discuss these issues with the new chair of the Senate Standing Committee for Agriculture and Forestry — Senator Diane Griffen . It is fortuitous that Senator Griffen has been appointed Chair of the Standing Committee following our recent submission back in October.
We plan to have a presence during the 2018 Winter Woodlot Tour which will be held the last Saturday in January – weather permitting. Please find the details elsewhere in this newsletter and plan to join us — if possible.
Please renew your membership at your earliest convenience — either online or by mail – and continue to promote our association to your friends and neighbors and fellow woodlot owners. We are always looking for members who would like to volunteer to serve on the Board. Don’t hesitate to get involved; the future of woodland on PEI is in your hands. John J. Rowe; Chairman — PEIWOA
Chairman: John J. Rowe
Red Maple – A True Success story
As John D. Rockefeller said, “The secret of success is doing the common things uncommonly well.”, and that pretty much describes our ordinary red maple.
Growing from Florida north to Newfoundland and west to Manitoba, red maple (A rubrum) is a common tree throughout its range because it will grow on dry or wet sites and at all elevations. On PEI, it is often known as swamp maple or soft maple and it can be found in virtually every stand type given its ability to thrive under an amazing variety of conditions. Living as long as 125 years, it can reach heights of 20m+ and diameters of 75cm.
Red Maple produces large volumes of seed that germinate well on mineral soils or light litter. Most of the seed will germinate in the first year and seedlings will do well in partial cuts with some shade but also more exposed areas in larger cuts. Planting red maple on grassed sites requires protection from browsing mammals and harsh dry winter conditions for best results. Red maple stumps sprout aggressively after a harvest and can suppress or kill competing tree seedlings.
Red maple is most commonly used for fuelwood providing good heat value in the fall and spring months. It is also suitable for maple syrup production but the sugar to sap ratio is much lower than its more famous cousin the Sugar Maple. Unlike most other hardwoods, most red maple boards are sawn from the lighter sapwood rather than the darker reddish-brown heartwood and on occasion, red maple wood can have a curly grain pattern.
In terms of wildlife, red maple seeds are usually plentiful and an important food source for many birds and mammals. Red maple is also a vital part of our autumn landscape providing magnificent deep scarlet and rich crimson displays beside the oranges and yellows of other Island tree species.
Red Maple Silvics:
Height: 20 m+ Diameter: 75 cm + Age: 125 years Shade Tolerance: Moderate to High Soil Preference: Wide range Climate Change Adaptability Potential: Good
The Three R’s of Climate Change
The word “stand” is used frequently when talking about forests and woodlands. In general terms, a stand is a forest area that is distinct from the areas the around it. Stands may be determined by biological factors such as species, age, size, and health and influenced by other non-biotic factors such as soil type, nutrient, drainage, slope, location, history and exposure.
Dividing the forest into smaller areas with similar characteristics has been used by foresters for centuries to focus management activities and produce more and/or higher quality forest products. The same process can be used to help land owners manage forest lands for goals such as recreation or wildlife habitat. But possibly the most important benefit of stand identification in the coming decades will be helping land owners adapt to the implications of Climate Change.
Each stand has its own strengths and limitations in terms of its ability to adapt to climate change. By understanding the various elements of each stand, land owners can adapt their management strategies and set realistic climate change goals. When setting your forest management priorities, it is best to keep the three R’s – Resistance, Resilience and Response – in mind.
Resistance: Means helping the existing stands strengthen their natural defenses against anticipated changes
Resilience: Means helping suitable stands to adapt to some degree of change. Encourage the forest to return to natural conditions after a disturbance through natural renewal or planting.
Reaction: Means accepting that some things will change regardless of what you do or don’t do. In many cases you may have to let nature to take its course while accommodating changes and supporting the ecosystem’s ability to adapt.
There are no magic bullets to solve climate change forest-related issues but you can build capacity by considering your options and developing a plan of action that reflects the current condition of each stand and helping your forest meet its climate change potential.
Eastern White Pine
Historically Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) was found in most areas of Prince Edward Island but today it is most common in eastern areas of the province. In the original forest, it was renowned for its diameter (100 cm+) and height (25-30m) and for its strength and flexibility because these characteristics made it perfect for masts on large ocean-going warships.
Today, white pine is valued for fine furniture lumber and paneling. When freshly cut, white pine wood has a creamy white colour but as it ages, it will often take on darker golden tones with striking yellowish or reddish-brown hues sometimes known as “pumpkin pine”. While the way these characteristics develop is not fully understood, it is most common in older pines but genetics and soil nutrients may also be contributing factors.
The size and quality of white pine found on PEI today is a far cry from those of earlier times. This decline in quality can be attributed many different influences but high grading (taking the best and leaving the rest) and the impacts of the White Pine Weevil are the major contributing factors. White pine is a major component of PEI’s tree improvement program and real gains in growth and form in planting stock have been achieved over the last few decades.
White pine may be planted in open plantations but it needs a measure of protection from harsh winter winds and salt spray. The White Pine Weevil can cause problems infestations in plantations but once the crowns close and the trees reach 5 – 8 m the level of infestation usually drops off significantly. In many cases, the poorest trees will be removed from the plantation during the first few thinning operations leaving the largest and straightest trees to grow. Weevil damage is often minimal where the trees grow in about 50% shade as this is similar to how white pine renews itself naturally.
White pine seeds are an important food source for many small mammals and birds. Bald eagles prefer to build their nests in tall, old white pine trees and other species will perch on the tree’s large branches to scout for prey. Cavities in large trees are also valued for dens and nests.
White Pine Silvics:
Height: 30m+ Diameter: 1m + Age: 250 years or more Shade Tolerance: Moderate Soil Preference: Wide range but prefers sandy loams Climate Change Adaptability Potential : Good to Very Good
Woodlots in the Watershed
The Southeast Environmental Association is a community-based, charitable organization established in 1992 to protect, maintain and enhance the ecology of southeastern PEI for the environmental, social and economic well-being of Island residents. SEA leads and seeks funding for several programs: Harvey Moore Wildlife Sanctuary, Stream Restoration, Water Monitoring and Biodiversity, Trails and Tours Program, Wetlands Program, Community Outreach Program, Community Food Gardens Program, Watershed Management Planning, Coastal Restoration and Planning, Experiential Tourism Program and the Community Pollinator Park.
Currently, stream restoration and watershed management are priority areas for SEA. Since 2015, we have developed Watershed Management Plans for the Montague/Valleyfield Watershed Area and the Sturgeon Watershed Area. During this time, restoration work on 26.5 kilometres of stream in the Montague, Valleyfield, Brudenell and Sturgeon Rivers has been completed. This included the removal of 30 major, 63 medium and 17 minor blockages, installation of 11 brushmats, removal of 2 crossings, removal of 8 beaver dams, planting of 420 native trees and shrubs, and the removal of 6.2km of alders. In addition, 34km of stream and riparian zone have been assessed to help plan further restoration efforts.
Stream work, which includes riparian area restoration, is highly beneficial to a woodlot. The removal of blockages reduces the occurrence of flooding, preventing the loss of trees, shrubs and viable land. Invasive species removal prevents monoculture establishment and the loss of biodiversity. Planting native trees and shrubs increases biodiversity and provides food for wildlife. The availability of cover, food and spawning grounds for fish, will increase fish populations and therefore the populations of the wildlife that rely on fish as a food source, creating active woodlots.
Woodlots are very important to the stream. A well forested riparian zone will prevent erosion of streambanks and slow runoff, preventing siltation of waterways. They provide cover for fish and other wildlife. Trees and shrubs provide food for many living things, and a supply organic material for aquatic and terrestrial insects to feed on. Trees provide shade and help regulate the temperature of the water.
|Before and after shots of a blockage removal on the Montague River. Clearing the stream allows for improved flow, better fish passage and prevents silt build-up. Selective harvest could prevent blockages from occurring.
Healthy riparian areas are not only productive ecologically, but economically, as well. Although the trees in these areas cannot be cleared for a profit, they do provide many opportunities. Individual trees can be selectively harvested, with a Watercourse, Wetland and Buffer Zone Permit, that will produce high quality wood and economic value. Trees and shrubs can be planted and maintained that provide non-timber products that can be harvested, such as berries and nuts. Willows and poplars are great for stabilizing banks, removing excess nutrients and produce biomass for fuel. Planting these species will allow the bank to stabilize. When they reach a desired size, they can be harvested for fuel, but the root system will remain. New growth will sprout from the root system, renewing the area. The enhancement of a riparian zone also improves the aesthetic value and provides enjoyable recreational opportunities.
Working with your local watershed group to enhance your riparian zone, can provide you with labour, tools, knowledge and the appropriate permits required, as well, these groups can source desired native trees and shrubs for planting.
To learn more about SEA, the work we do and to enjoy the great outdoors, join us on February 24th, 11am-3pm, at the Harvey Moore Wildlife Sanctuary, 7096 Milltown Cross, PE, for the 2nd Annual Winter Frolic Fundraiser.
The family-fun event will include:
- beautiful Belgian, horse-drawn sleigh rides, by MacLeod’s Sleigh Rides,
- a chance to get up close to impressive birds of prey from Island Falconry Services,
- an opportunity to try out snowshoeing with equipment provided by Eastern Sports and Recreation Council, and
- trying your hand at the archery range with Archery Tag PEI.
- ice-sculpting demonstration by renowned local artisan, Abe Waterman.
Additional activities include:
- guided bird tours with a local birding enthusiast,
- learning how to identify animal tracks in the snow,
- seeing an ‘Animals of PEI’ display hosted by Dept. of Community, Lands & Environment,
- taking a lesson in building a wilderness survival shelter,
- learning how to build an owl nest (can purchase for $25).
- ‘stream bugs’ display and indicator water testing by Holland College EAST students,
- learning about winter photography with a local photography enthusiast, and
- the chance to win in a 50/50 draw.
Hotdogs, vegetarian chili, hot chocolate and hot apple cider with be available for purchase.
Admission: Adult – $12, Under 12 – $7, and Family – $35 (4 max) each additional family member $5.
SEA Members: $5 discount on entrance fee
For more information, follow SEA on Facebook and Twitter, check out our website: www.seapei.org or contact us at 902-838-3351, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-timber Forest Products
As we all know, forests can produce many different commercial products ranging from timber to jams, jellies and decoratives.
One product that has captured a lot of attention in recent years is Chaga. Sometimes called the “King of Medicinal Mushrooms”, Chaga has been used for centuries in Asia and parts of Europe for its unique flavor and for several reputed health benefits.
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus ) is a fungus that only grows in cold northern forests. Found on mature (usually 40 years old or older) white birch, yellow birch and gray birch it has also been reported grow on several other Acadian Forest species such as beech and poplar. Trees develop a dense black mass of mycelia (roughly 25-40cm) on their exterior.
This mass looks a bit like charcoal but it is the rusty yellow-brown material inside that is the valuable part of the fungus. Chaga is usually broken into chunks and ground down into a fine powder that can be
added to soups, stews, or smoothies providing extra nutritional value to many meals. The most popular use is for Chaga Tea which is described as having a mild vanilla flavor. It is also promoted for many different health benefits but most of these claims have not been independently verified or proven.
If harvested with care, Chaga can be harvested every 3 – 5 years until the tree dies. Efforts have been made to cultivate the fungus on other mediums but research indicates that this usually results in a reduction in the quality and ratio of several key nutrients.
With some time and effort woodlot owners can find or develop markets for Chaga products.
WINTER WOODLOT TOUR 2018: FORESTS FOR ISLANDERS
Watershed organizations from the West River, Hunter-Clyde and Wheatley Rivers, along with the Department of Communities, Lands and Environment, would like to invite everyone to the 7th annual Winter Woodlot Tour on Saturday, January 27, 2018. This event will run from 9:00AM to 1:00PM at the Strathgartney Equestrian Park, 18 Strathgartney Rd. in Bonshaw. The storm date will be Saturday, February 3, 2018.
Strathgartney Equestrian Park is located in the West River Watershed. This hilly area has a rich natural history encompassing fields and forests, streams and rivers, diverse wildlife habitats and multi-use recreational trails.
Fun and family-friendly activities include:
. sleigh rides
. rope ladders and climbing course from Scouts Canada
. making maple syrup and more
Information stations along the wooded trails will feature:
. winter wildlife
. plants and trees of the Acadian Forest
. private woodlot management
. watershed management and stream restoration
. forest-based products and woodworking
This annual event is intended to give everyone a taste of what public and private forests provide as a economic resource and as an important part of our Island environment. There is no charge to attend and there will be heated warming tents and as always, free hot cider.
For more information, visit Facebook: PEI Winter Woodlot Tour or contact Jordan Condon, at email@example.com or (902)394-0749.
*Note: The price locations provided below are only a summary and it is recommended that woodlot owners should ensure they are receiving fair prices for any forest products sold from woodlot transactions.
PRICES SUMMARY – New Brunswick
PRICES SUMMARY – Nova Scotia
Chainsaw Safety course
We are planning to schedule another chainsaw safety course. Please contact us to get your name on a participant list.
John Rowe – Chair
Cell Phone: 902-940-1933
Annual General Meeting
Planning is underway by your PEIWOA Board for the Annual General Meeting expected to be late March, 2018. It is hoped that we can have a comprehensive conference with speakers from various sectors of the forest industry in the Maritimes.
John Rowe – Chair
Cell Phone: 902-940-1933
Facebook: PEI Woodlot Owners Association
Thank you on behalf of the board of the Prince Edward Island Woodlot Owners Association (PEIWOA) for your support. The board continues to represent your interests to the government and Industry to add resources for you to manage your woodlots. Your continued support will enable the PEIWOA to grow and move forward. The simplest way to provide support is to renew your membership. The regular annual fee is $25.00 or you can opt for a 2 year membership for $40.00.
PEI Federation of Agriculture members can join for 2 years for $20.00
Your prompt response will allow the board to plan events to meet your needs in future years. Please also encourage other woodlot owners to join so we can help even more people to add value to their woodlands.
Check out our Facebook page (PEI Woodlot Owners Association) and our website (http://www.peiwoa.ca/) for current and upcoming events.
Membership Secretary PEIWOA.
YOU CAN SEND YOUR CHEQUE TO:
PEI WOODLOT OWNERS ASSN.
81 PRINCE STREET,
CHARLOTTETOWN C1A 4R3
Name: ______________________________________ I have Woodlots in Kings County ( )
Queens County ( )
Address:_________________________________ Prince County ( )
___________________________________________ I am interested in being a director ( )
Phone: ________________________________ PAYMENT $25 1year ( ) $40 2 year ( )
(Office use only date received _____________ date receipt issued ______________ Date Membership card issued ____________)