Saturday, November 25, 2017

The State of Our Trees

We are not short of trees at Canal Shores, but as it turns out, we are short on good ones.  Planning Resources Inc. sent their Arborist out to do a tree survey (digital version of the survey coming soon...).  They were looking for valuable trees to keep and incorporate into the ecological master plan for the property.  "Valuable" is defined as important native species, or large, healthy trees that are not invasive species.  The survey found that Canal Shores has 904 trees on our 82 acres.

Decades of mismanagement has left us with an overgrowth of invasive brush, vines, and trees; numerous dead trees; and a dearth of quality natives.  A key component of responsible land stewardship is proactive tree management, which is our commitment going forward.

We have taken learnings from three years of pilot projects, added them to the expert perspective of PRI, and charted a path ahead toward a revitalization of the woodlands of Canal Shores.  Special thanks to Grounds Committee member Matt Rooney who drafted our Tree Policy, and then painstakingly revised it to incorporate feedback from numerous parties.  Click here to read the Canal Shores Tree Policy, which has been approved by our Board of Directors.

What does this look like on the ground?  Valuable trees have been tagged for preservation.

Invasives that are a priority for removal are being marked with spray paint.

The long process of clearing and cleanup continues.  Some of the debris from that clearing is being stowed away in tidy brush piles throughout the property.  Other debris will be burned under the guidelines of a special burn permit for which we have applied.

This is a big, important job.  As always, we will take volunteer assistance from folks of all ages.  If you would like to join our army of buckthorn warriors, email Dan Bulf at and he will add you to our list.