Spring Update 2017
April 14, 2017
An early season inspection of the woodlot provided a very encouraging portal. Visitation day was sunny, 20C, light winds — very positive when you look back at the ups & downs of the previous 4+ months.
There was considerable wildlife activity — ducks, squirrels, lots of small birds, and even some orange butterflies. The most notable were the large red-capped pileated woodpeckers. At least 6 were counted with 2 nesting sites identified — one in a willow by the stream, and the other in the northeast corner of the woodlot. After being casual visitors for the past couple of years, perhaps they are going to become permanent residents. There was no evidence of wild turkey but a few deer tracks were present. And yes, some gnats and a few files put in an appearance, but you can still leave the insect repellant at home for a few more weeks.
In 2014, 30 trees were planted in the mid-section of the woodlot. The white pines have been thriving. Several of them produced 18"-24" of new growth over last season. The winter snow load did impact them and some could benefit from guy-strings to bring them back to vertical.
|April 14, 2017
||April 21, 2014
As for the hemlocks, they have wintered well and also have shown good growth over 3 years, but not as dramatic as the pines. A few have encountered issues with their leaders probably as a result of snow/ice damage in a previous winter — but they are healthy and thriving. As for the tamaracks, they do not put their best face forward at this time of the year, but are budding and will provide a better image in a few weeks. They too are thriving and have more than doubled their height. Of the 30 trees planted, the mortality count appears to be 2.
The perimeter trails (Highland, Ash & Brookside) are clear and in good condition with only a few minor wet spots. As is typical at this time of the year, the Lowland trail is not passable due to flooding. In a couple of locations the trail is blocked by fallen debris that will be removed once drying occurs. Hillside 1 & 2 trails both have wet-to-flooded sections.
As for fallen trees, no major occurrences, but numerous smaller dead ash trees have left the vertical. A number of them have tipped into other stands and need to be brought to the ground for the benefit of the other trees. In general, it looks like our tree casualty rate has declined dramatically. Perhaps we can now focus more on the living rather than the dying. We will still have ongoing tree pruning for woodlot safety and tree health.
The years following the hickory and ash die-off will produce dramatic changes. A younger tree population now exists and much more light is getting in. We will see species take hold that have been dormant for years. Mother Nature will set the course. Your association will hold her hand moving forward.