Prince Edward Island Tree Nursery Struggling to Meet Demand for Post-Tropical Storm Fiona Recovery

Since post-tropical storm Fiona’s destruction of nearly 32,000 hectares of forestland in 2022, requests for trees from Prince Edward Island (PEI) landowners, schools, and community groups have “increased a great deal,” and the J. Frank Gaudet provincial tree nursery is trying to keep up, CBC News reported (5-39-24).

Mary Myers, the nursery’s manager, said, “I think there’s more people wanting to fill in space [where] tree fell down … so that’s in addition to what we normally supply trees for.”

Myers noted that most of the trees grown at the nursery go to PEI’s forest enhancement program, which supplies trees to Island landowners. The nursery also supplies trees to the greening spaces program, which provides trees to local communities, schools, and volunteer groups.

However, there are only so many trees available. “It is starting to come to a bit of a bottleneck,” Myers told CBC. “We’re trying to spread [the trees] around as much as we can.”

Myers said the nursery has asked groups that had large orders filled in the last few years to consider skipping a year so first-time applicants can get their trees. She said trees for the forest enhancement program and watershed groups across the Island are the nursery’s priorities. If those two groups need more tress, then the green spacing program may get fewer.

The J. Frank Gaudet nursery recently added three new greenhouses to help with the PEI’s contribution to the federal government’s 2 Billion Trees Program, which aims to plant two billion trees in Canada by 2031.

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