Bev Wigney on Super Canopy Trees

Post on Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology, Mar 10, 2019




We’re all becoming just sick — heart sick — of seeing these great old super canopy trees hacked down — when they should be left standing to provide nest cavities for Flying Squirrels, Pileated Woodpeckers, Owls, and even Chimney Swifts! Their lower branches provide nesting sites for migratory songbirds, and their highest branches provide roosts and nesting sites for Ravens, Hawks and Eagles. Sheltered among their roots, Fox, Porcupine and other mammals make their burrows and dens. They host colonies of fungi, and their leaves feed the larvae of countless species of moths and butterflies. Their bark feeds or provides habitat for other insects which are then food to birds. They produce seed for generations of trees to come. Many produce nuts to feed many creatures including Bear. They store carbon in their wood and in their roots and the ground beneath. They give shade and help to moderate climate. Long after they begin to die, they are still filled with life. The trunks continue to provide shelter for many creatures. When they finally fall to the earth, they become nurse trees for mosses, ferns, lichen, fungi, while saplings of the next generation take root in their decaying mass as it returns to the earth from which it grew. Tell me how a tree that provides so much to the biodiversity of a forest is worth nothing more than two or three hundred bucks and be carted off to be burnt in a biomass plant here in Nova Scotia, or chipped and shipped off to fuel a power plant in Europe or the UK. No, these trees are the “real gold” in our forests when left in place for our children and grandchildren — and not to be sold off like worthless debris.