Adopt an Elm: Heritage Minudie Elms in Need

Looking forward to spring? The Woodpeckers who run the Maritime Elm Protection Initiative (MEPI) are too. Spring is when we load up our injectors and inoculate valuable elms against Dutch Elm Disease. As we go into our third year, we are actively looking for sponsors to help cover the costs of this project. We want to give you a chance to meet elms in need, and invite you to consider sponsoring the treatment of valuable Maritime elms.

Three American Elm trees stand in a field.

Woodshed Wonder 01: The Injured Poplar

Towards the end of our working season, when the mornings get dark and nippy, the Woodpeckers can be found surrounding the wood stove (coffees in hand). Us tree nerds love to muse over each interesting log before we throw it on the fire. For the newer recruits, it becomes an impromptu lesson on tree biology based on the findings of “the Father of Modern Arboriculture” Alex Shigo. We thought it would be fun to share our “woodshed wonders” and unpack how they came to be, with the help of our friend Shigo.

Kevin Anderson, owner of Woodpecker Tree Care, was given one of his first lessons in Shigo’s teachings from instructor and researcher Tracey Mackenzie. Tracey is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie, and encouraged Kevin to examine his woodshed for valuable lessons on the inner workings of trees.

Our first “Woodshed Wonder” comes from Kevin Anderson’s pile: a poplar with telltale signs of an old injury.

But how do we know that this poplar was injured? It’s with the help of our trusty guide, Alex Shigo.

Elm wood transformed into medieval longbows

Woodpecker Tree Care is all about preservation, but when we do have to cut a tree down we do our best to repurpose the wood (if it’s good quality). Sometimes the property owner is delighted to keep it for their furnace or share it with their neighbours, or John will happily take it home for his beloved wood stove and fire pit. One of the more interesting places our wood has ended up is in Jake Fenwick’s workshop, a local homesteader and bowyer (bow-maker) in Sackville NB. 

Jake Fenwick works on a bow.

Disease-resistant “Accolade” elm finds new home in Wood Point

John optimistically purchased this Ulmus “Morton” elm hybrid, more commonly known as an “Accolade” elm, from Charlie the Tree Guy this fall. The Accolade cultivar was originally planted in 1924 at the famous Morton Arboretum (Lisle, Illinois). In 2005, the Accolade was studied alongside several cultivars in the US National Elm Trial, which determined the survival rate among elms. At the time, elm trees were dying off by tens of millions due to Dutch Elm Disease (DED) and other pests. Accolade came out as one of the top hybrid cultivars, with a 92.5% survival rate.

John Haney holds up a tag attached to an Accolade elm sapling and smiles.

MEPI Sponsors Appreciation

S. Hall Tire, Muffler, & Auto Repair Centre is one of the local businesses keeping elm trees alive and well in the Maritimes. Owner and operator Scott Hall was aware of Dutch Elm Disease and how it was killing beautiful elm trees across the Atlantic Provinces, but wasn’t sure what he could do to help the trees from dying off. After learning that Woodpecker Tree Care heads the Maritime Elm Protection Initiative, he felt the need to take action. 

“The Dutch Elm Disease problem has moved into our area, infecting and killing these beautiful trees. I decided to sponsor two trees as I feel it’s a worthy cause and it needs to happen. If nobody gets involved, all will be lost.” 

Scott Hall stands with his hands folded in front of him and smiles. There are cars in the background.

Meet Meg Cunningham

The fifth installment of “Meet the Team Monday” features the newest addition to the Woodpecker Tree Care crew, Meg Cunningham.

Meg started with Woodpecker Tree Care by washing trucks, but her role has developed since then. Meg is the current Maritime Elm Protection Initiative coordinator, and is responsible for organizing the annual DutchTrig vaccination campaign. She is also the author of the majority of Woodpecker Tree Care’s recent online content, including “Meet the Team Mondays.”

Meg stands in a pumpkin field and smiles.