After Fiona - ideas for the fallen trees


Hurricane Fiona was very hard on our trees here in Nova Scotia.  So many images of blow downs :-(  

Here are some suggestions for what you can do with the wood :

Do you live in western Nova Scotia and have hemlocks?

Hurricane Fiona has provided us with an opportunity in the forest.  It has knocked down fresh branch samples from high in the hemlock canopies, places we cannot usually see.  It offers an opportunity to get out and conduct some early detection of HWA using these fresh samples.  

But this time of year, the young HWA are very small and seen best using a magnifying glass or hand lens.  

Search the very tips of freshly fallen branchlets, specifically at the base of needles located on the underside of the branch.

Early detection is very important so that trees are treated while in good health and ALSO because a less expensive treatment is all that is required.  Waiting until a tree has declined will cost a great deal more because fast-acting chemicals are much more expensive and will still require use of the second, longer-lasting chemicals too.  The price essentially triples, with much less guarantee of success.

Early treatment is highly successful.  It works! But must be accompanied by early detection or a preemptive treatment before the bug arrives!

Are you a gardener?

  • use the logs for raised beds, either horizontally or vertical
  • hollow logs make awesome planters
  • chipped wood is excellent for your pathways and/or mulch and/or compost
  • hardwood can be inoculated with mushroom spores ... voila, fresh mushrooms!
  • pile the limbs in a back corner for wonderful bird habitat and eventually compost
  • hugal beds where you add wood material to raised beds
  • familiar with biochar?  it's a excellent for soil rejuvenation

Are there logs?

  • hire a portable sawmill and turn it into usable lumber

Hardwood like Apple?

  • chip it and use it for smoke wood for your BBQ

Was the tree sentimental?

  • is there is enough wood remaining in place to create a sculpture?
  • create something from the wood that will remind you of it ie: bowl, breadboard, piece of art

Are you curious about the age of the tree?

  • it's the perfect time to count the rings to know the age of your giant

And there is always the tried and true -- cut it up for firewood to keep you (or your neighbour) warm on a cold winter night!

Many thanks to Donna Crossland, Jeff Ogden and Ben Phillips for their input for this article.