In an effort to improve the health of our forests and create a model for environmental stewardship, Macphail Woods is launching the Restore an Acre initiative. All donations will be used in the restoration of a 220-acre Public Forest on the Selkirk Road (Route #23) in Valley, part of the 2,000 acres we are managing for the provincial government.
The overall history of this property is typical of most woodlands in the province, with the area closest to the road farmed and then abandoned and the land further back left in forest. There are unploughed areas and forests growing on old fields. This property has a large amount of older conifer plantations – red pine, white pine, Scots pine, Norway spruce and Japanese larch – some of which are starting to break up. The challenge will be to find a market for these products and to harvest them as they reach the end of their life cycle. Several of the original red pine plantings on this property, carried out in the 1950’s, started to die and were clearcut and one has been replanted in Japanese larch. Another large area was clearcut and replanted in white pine, while other blocks were clearcut and never replanted. Towards the back of the property, there is an excellent area of mixed hardwoods. Though young, they are of high quality and should provide good value in the future.
The land is well-drained and obviously capable of growing high-quality trees. Some of the hardwoods are of very good quality, while the white pine, Norway spruce and Japanese larch have grown into quite large-diameter trees.
The swale at the eastern end of the property was once a seasonal stream and probably continues to carry water in the spring. After a clearcut, it grew up in a mix of early successional species, but along the stream-bed there is a large number of beaked hazelnut. Riparian zones even of seasonal streams, are among the most productive habitats on Prince Edward Island for both plants and animals and much better stewardship should be displayed in these areas.
The roadway running the length of the property also offers a great opportunity to add large numbers of native plants that are especially-attractive for wildlife. The edges along both sides of the roadway have more sunlight over a longer period and allow greater fruiting and flowering of plants such as American mountain ash, serviceberry, high-bush cranberry, beaked hazelnut, hawthorn and the elderberries.
Special notes: As with most of the public forest land, there are piles of wood that have been left beside the road. There are also older garbage piles along the road and some newer dumps as well.
Fungi, mosses & lichens