Welcome to third edition of the Prince Edward Island Woodlot Owners Association (PEIWOA) 2018 Newsletter. The intent of these 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.
Greetings from the Board of the PEIWOA. “Welcome” to our third newsletter this year.
We would like you to consider volunteering for the Board of the PEIWOA as we have a yearly turnover of members. It is only for a two year term as we want to provide continuity for the Board. We have three representatives from each County. We learn something new at every meeting. We are always looking for suggestions and feedback from our members any time.
John J. Rowe; Chairman – PEIWOA
My History with Trees
Contributed by: Jean Maki PEI Woodlot Owner member)
My History with Trees
I grew up near the south shore of Lake Superior and my playground was the woods that surrounded my home. One of my earliest memories is visiting my grandfather’s logging camp where he used horses to remove the trees. And another memory is building a fort with logs from my grandfather’s pulp wood pile (which he didn’t appreciate).
At the age of 25, four years after coming to PEI, I bought a property on the Selkirk Road near Iona that included 110 acres of woods. Since I heated solely with wood I had to learn how to use a chainsaw—which in those days were much heavier than today’s models and didn’t have the safety features. Through the woodlot improvement program at the time, I was able to hire friends who had a horse logging business to do work in the woods and then was able to get a road built. The most memorable tree was an Eastern Hemlock that 2 people weren’t able to reach their arms around. Just as important as the firewood and saw logs that I got from the woods was the pleasure of walking through it on a regular basis. To this day it’s an activity I thoroughly enjoy.
Let’s fast forward to 2004 when I returned to PEI after a 16-year absence. I lived in Charlottetown at first (having sold my farm years earlier), but within a year I purchased 50 acres of woods on the Iona Road and spent a lot of time there camping with my rabbit and cat, finding boundary lines, and cutting firewood for my fireplace insert—hauling it to Ch’town in my van. I signed up with the woodlot improvement program again and started thinning various areas that had a lot of dying balsam fir. This woodlot has a stream through it and some lovely Eastern hemlock, white pine, Red spruce, and Yellow birch.
My love of the country and trees took me back to the Selkirk Road (not far from my first property) to live in 2008 for 8 years and more recently I’ve added another woodlot. Having the good fortune of living near Macphail Woods, I have been able to participate in various workshops and a weeklong course which helped me to learn how to take better care of the woods. Over the years I’ve been planting some species that are not found in my woods including Red oak, White ash, Eastern cedar, Larch and additional Eastern hemlock and White pine. I’m also planting some native shrubs such as Witch hazel and Hobblebush and am just starting to
add different ferns and wildflowers.
During a walk through my Selkirk woodlot with Victor MacLeod a couple of years ago for the Forest Enhancement Program, I was surprised and saddened to hear that my woodlot was in the top 5% of Island woodlots. Saddened because I thought there would be many that were much better. One of the reasons I bought the woodlots was to prevent them from being clear cut in areas that still had large tracts of woods which is so important for wildlife. When I returned to PEI in 2004 it was shocking to see how much clearcutting had taken place.
Last year I spent a lot of time trying to find the boundary lines which were badly overgrown on my Selkirk property. In the course of spending so much time going through areas off the road I was able to see a great number of birds I had never seen there before. One bird that I often heard and sometimes saw is now very rare and that is the Barred Owl. I wonder if the clearcutting that has been going on nearby has anything to do with it. But on the bright side, I heard a Saw Whet Owl last summer.
What I would like to see happen to my two woodlots in the future is to have them in some kind of trust where they will be protected and cared for so wildlife will continue to have a home and people will be able to enjoy walking through them. I feel extremely fortunate to have been a caretaker of these various woodlots and will continue to do so as long as I can.
Photos were provided by Jeanne Maki
Havenloft Tree Nursery
Imagine an entirely new innovative type of investment. That promotes an environmentally friendly and sustainable product. If you could grow your own gold, would you? One of my favorite quotes is “The best time to plant a black walnut was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” This is because walnuts trees can be grown for the purpose of Veneer and timber as a high quality wood product. You can get up to 20% quality veneer per 400 trees an acre. This is with proper care and maintenance over a 30 year cycle for average trees. Upon maturity, these trees can range from $1000 (non-veneer timber) or even up to $5000 for veneer quality per tree. Better maintenance and care over the lifespan of an orchard can increase these numbers further. This could mean at the low end up to quarter million an acre in timber. A walnut orchard can take several years to come into full production, but in turn can produce up to 3000lbs of nuts per acre in 5-7 years with amounts only increasing. This can be either resold to companies for a consumer food product or resold directly to farmer’s bulk as feed. As of now research has shown that companies are selling in shell black walnuts on average for about $5 lbs. Seedlings can be sold in local storefront nurseries, farmers markets, online worldwide or in bulk to other nurseries across Canada. They can be grown and sold either as bare root or containerized. Nurseries sell out quickly of this tree, with no mass production in effect in Atlantic Canada. While other companies experience product depreciation, this product will appreciate in value if unsold in the first year. Prices start at $20 for one-year-old trees, while two-to-three year trees can be $40 to $60 each, depending on size. My goal is to sell these trees to those who can benefit from them. Be it a farmer who is reclaiming unused land for their retirement or creating a new kind of permaculture pasture. A landowner with acreage they want to get more value from, as walnut orchards increase land value. Even a savvy investor who can see the value in such a high rate of return and want to purchase land to have these trees planted. Additional revenue can be brought in by providing pruning services, planting services and general maintenance, as well as eventually nut production. Selling increasingly popular hull waste to organic produce companies for medicinal and weed control purposes, as black walnut produce a potent herbicide and dye used in many hair products and an organic abrasive alternative from the ground up shells, instead of sand. The ability to have secondary products such as English walnut or filberts, even more exotic to Pei fruit trees like peach and pear. By specializing on black walnuts we enter into a market that has only existed in a small portion of central Ontario. While the investing aspect has been something only hobby farms have tried. There are many other benefits of growing black walnuts on PEI. Black walnuts are in the top ten carbon sink trees. We could Reforest unused farm land and reduce our dependency on the American walnut and timber industry. Plus there is no need for yearly replanting, watershed concerns or pesticide. As this would be the one of the first large scale commercial walnut production facilities in Canada, it will bring a new and exciting opportunity for Islanders and investors worldwide. This is the chance to get ahead of a new and exciting market opportunity, the best time to Invest is now. Please check out our Kick starter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/havenlofttreenursery/adopt-a-black-walnut-tree-get-some-nuts?ref=discovery or check us out online at www.havenlofttreenursery.com.
Eastern Chamber of Commerce Promotes Resource Development!
Recognizing that our primary resources have always been the mainstays of our economy, the EPEICC has been looking for new ways to increase development. We started thinking about the “forestry sector”, as we have more woodland in the east than the rest of the Island combined, and much is underutilized, says Board Member, Pat Binns.
To get the ball rolling, Chamber Directors sponsored a meeting in January with a small group of woodlot owners to discuss ideas which would might bring more value to our woodlots. While the discussions recognized the continuing low prices and obstacles to development, some great ideas were discussed. Most were interested in “biomass heating systems” and their potential, especially if small woodlot owners, using sustainable harvest methods, were used. The new District system in Tignish was highlighted as were other projects in Summerside and Charlottetown. As there are few biomass installations in the east, follow up was agreed upon.
Other ideas promoted included the following: * nut trees plantations such as black walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans. * non-timbered forest products including sugar maple * small mill opportunities for hardwood flooring and live edging products. * agroforestry opportunities such as using willow extracts for medicinal purposes * more milling capacity and kiln drying * studying European small-scale forestry practice.
Participants generally agreed that a Marketing Structure that supported the small woodlot owner would enable owners to generate more income and expand sustainable activity. As a result, next steps include looking at the potential for a woodlot owner’s cooperative or similar structure.
Discussions on the biomass opportunity have continued. The Town of Montague, along with their Economic Development group is doing a feasibility study on using biomass heat for municipal, Government, community and commercial facilities. A project is in early stage consideration for the Belfast area and interest is also being shown in the Souris area.
Russ Compton, the current President of the Chamber, and a long time woodlot owner, urged anyone interested in a marketing structure controlled by woodlot owners, to contact the Chamber office or the PEI Woodlot Owners Association. A follow-up meeting will be held in the near future.
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.
James MacDonald, 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 ____________)