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Two Forest Inventories Delivered in March

Posted by Brenda Smart on March 22, 2018 in News
Bridgewater Tree Inventory Group (Duinker Photo)
Bridgewater Tree Inventory Group (Duinker Photo)

Peter Duinker and his students delight in measuring trees, no matter whether they are deep in the rural woods, on a golf course, in a cemetery or lining the streets. Two tree inventories undertaken by Peter’s team were delivered in March 2018.

The Town of Bridgewater approached Peter in 2016 about undertaking an inventory of the street trees of the town. Just the year before, he and his students completed an inventory of all the trees in the Village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia. Naturally, Peter agreed, and a weekend was chosen in October 2017.

A team of 12 students/researchers descended upon Bridgewater in mid-October and started the work. During the Saturday and Sunday, just over 1500 street trees were measured along the streets of old Bridgewater. The canopy has over 70 tree species, with the expected unwelcome dominance of Norway maple. In a presentation to the Town Council, Peter encouraged the Council to plant way more street trees and to diversify the canopy away from problem non-native species toward a much richer balance of native species and species native to other parts of Eastern Canada. A continuation of the inventory is planned for autumn 2018.

During summer 2017, MREM student Shauna Doll held a Mitacs Accelerate award to complete a tree inventory on the Old Ashburn Golf Course, an inner-city property just to the west of the Halifax Peninsula. The tree canopy on the course is rather uninspiring, with a lot of decrepit conifers in small copses and an aging population of fairway trees. Course managers were delighted to receive Shauna’s inventory and recommendations for canopy improvement. The course is slated for a full rebuild of the greens during 2018–2020, providing an excellent opportunity to rebuild an exciting tree canopy with better species choices and better locations for new trees.

The tree inventory work of Peter’s team continues through 2018. MES student Jessica Quinton will make an inventory of all trees in the cemeteries of the Halifax peninsula. We believe that several of the city's cemeteries could benefit from having more trees. MSc student Chad Simmons will undertake a thorough regeneration survey in Point Pleasant Park. The data will indicate the patterns of forest succession after the devastating blowdown caused by Hurricane Juan in 2003. Finally, the first five-year remeasurement on new street trees, planted in 2013, will take place this summer under the annual contract to provide research and monitoring services to the city administration.