2022 Top 5 Tree Stories


There were many events that affected our Nova Scotia trees and forests in 2022.  Here's our Top 5. 

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Number 1 - Hurricane Fiona

Trees always lose when hit with a hurricane.  Fiona was particularly devastating to trees in eastern Nova Scotia as shown by the decimation at Victoria Park in Truro.  What made this storm particularly devastating was it's strength (winds up to 160 k/h) and it's size.  Halifax and east were slammed.

Victoria Park, Truro (c) @atlantictreesolutions / @rachaelaikens

Our forests have a long history of being shaped by hurricanes.  For a historical perspective, checkout : Walk in the Woods: Nova Scotia forests shaped by hurricanes

Number 2 - Non-native invasive species moved from marginal to mainstream

The big three non-native pests in our forest include hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), emerald ash borer  (EAB) and the beech leaf mining weevil (BLMW).  While there's been talk in some circles about their damage to our forests, in 2022 it became obvious to most watchers that our hemlock, ash and beech are in trouble.  

We're starting to see large scale die back of hemlock in western Nova Scotia.  Ash trees outside DeWolfe Park in Bedford are showing signs of EAB.  And beech trees in various spots across the province are being affected by BLMW.  

"Houston, we have a problem."

Defoliated Ash Trees - DeWolfe park, Bedford (c) CFIA

Number 3 - Hemlock Heroes

After 5 years of living with HWA, we are finally seeing a focused effort to stop the hemlock woolly adelgid.  $10M helps . More important is the dedicated group of professionals and volunteers who are committed to saving our hemlocks. 

Some of the Hemlock Heroes (c) @medwaycfc

Number 4 - Intentionally killing trees at the Halifax Public Gardens


As if weather and bugs weren't challenging enough, some clown(s) intentionally fatally wounded trees at the Halifax Public Gardens.

To the perps --> may your campfires never start and your home be riddled with termites.

From the Halifax Public Garden's release ... "Sometime between 9 p.m. on July 25 and 7 a.m. on July 26, 2022, an individual or individuals broke into the Halifax Public Gardens and cut large sections of bark from 32 trees in an apparent attempt to kill them. Many of the affected trees range from 50 to 200 years old. Since the incident occurred, four of the 32 damaged trees have been removed and Halifax Public Gardens staff are working to save the remainder. It could take years to know the results of their efforts. Replacement of the 32 trees is estimated to cost more than $350,000"  Read more about this and the reward here

(c) Halifax Public Gardens

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.  The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed tells a similar tale from the Queen Charlotte Islands.  And there are many more examples :-(

Number 5 - A good year for land conservation

This was a good year for land conservation in Nova Scotia, getting us closer to our goal of 20% of the land mass or about 11,000 square kilometers which is approximately the size of Cape Breton Island and included :
  • Owl's Head was an interesting win.  Through intense public pressure, what seemed to be headed for development was protected as a Provincial Park.
  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada's 1,100 acre acquisition of mature forest in Shelburne County. [more]
  • The Nova Scotia Nature Trust was very active protecting properties across the province including 6 new properties
  • The Nova Scotia government's announcement of 14 properties totaling 9,300 hectares [more]

Owl's Head (c) @saveowlshead / Eleanor and Jenn

Currently, about 13% of Nova Scotia's land is protected.  To get to 20% is going to be a struggle because most of Nova Scotia's land is owned by individuals.  We could use a little help like the Irving Family recently did for the province of New Brunswick

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So those were our Top 5 Tree stories for 2022.  Agree?  Disagree?  Something else made your list?  Perhaps you have a different perspective?   Please add your Comments on Facebook or Instagram.