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