Nova Scotia NRR: “DYK the Old Forest Policy protects the oldest tree in the Maritimes?” 15Nov2021

Thanks to WR for forwarding this NRR Twitter post of Nov 9, 2021 which reads:

DYK the Old Forest Policy protects the oldest tree in the Maritimes?

This 532-year old Eastern hemlock was discovered when we were collecting samples in the Panuke Lake area this summer.

Learn more about it here:

The link takes you to a page labelled Old Growth (under the “Department of Lands and Forestry”); listed on that page under Research Reports is this document:

Dendrochronologic Confirmation of Old Growth Hemlock Tree Age (October 2021)
By Ben Phillips, Acadian Forest Dendrochronology Lab, Mount Allison University, 12/10/21

The Conclusion:

This report recognizes the Panuke Lake hemlock as the oldest living tree in the Canadian Maritimes known to science. At 532 measured years old, this tree likely established itself about 20 years earlier in the 1470’s. It’s slow radial growth rate ensured it did not grow too large too fast and enabled it to survive many disturbance events until it was found in 2021. At the very least this tree demonstrates the need to protect remaining old growth forests along with the carbon they store and the biodiversity they harbour.

Indeed.  And “to protect remaining old growth forests” we should also be protecting some big chunks of those  older, high volume high carbon forests currently being whacked down by WestFor/NRR, our endangered  Mainland Moose apparently notwithstanding.

Anyway, it’s ‘nice to see this latest research report from the Old Growth folks at NRR.

Coincidentally, it follows Old Forest Assessment in the Lawlor Lake Area of Guysborough County (by Peter Bush, May. 2018) which documented some Old Growth forest in eastern NS that had not been protected by the Old Forest Policy, and was initially identified by the very independent logger Danny George. Ben Phillips, cited above,  was also involved in this study as an ” independent expert to count all tree cores that were collected in the field”.

Some related News Items & Posts

Movement on implementing Lahey: public consultation on Nova Scotia’s “Old-Growth Forest Policy” announced 9 Nov2021
Post on NSFN Nov 9, 2021

Dani Miller dreams of a healthy future for Maritime forests
By Patricia Lane in the National Observer Nov 15, 2021. “As the co-ordinator of the Common Ground project for Community Forests International, Dani Miller uses knowledge-sharing and storytelling to support the 80,000 family landowners in the Wabanaki forest — more commonly known as the Acadian forest — in climate-smart forest management to protect their land for generations to come, all the while increasing climate resilience…”Find your inspiration and spend lots of time there. For me, it is walking in old-growth forests where I remember why I love what I do…My dad was a forester and took my brother and me into old-growth forests every chance he could. Just seeing his awe and wonder left me with a lifelong interest. While we had to drive past many forest plantations and clear-cuts to get to these forests, he reminded me that it does not have to be this way. I planned to work in government following my studies so I could help change policy, but quickly realized the pace at which it moves is too slow for the climate emergency. That is why I have decided to work in non-governmental organizations for now.”

Old-growth forest with 400-year-old tree proposed for clearcut in error
Frances Willick · CBC New, Dec 19, 2018. This stand, identified by MTRI personnel, is in the same neck of the woods as the 532 year old tree described above.

MTRI Old Forest Project
Ongoing. View also: Peter Bush, NSDNR – Nova Scotia’s Old Forest Management at MTRI Old Forest Conference in 2016.

Many  posts and pages related to Old Growth on NSFN illustrate the high degree of interest and concern of  Nova Scotians about the status of Old Growth forests in NS. View Old Growth Search Results

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