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Macphail Woods hosts forest restoration workshop in Orwell

The Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project will host a forest restoration presentation and walk on Saturday, July 14.
The Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project will host a forest restoration presentation and walk on Saturday, July 14. - Facebook Photo

Free event takes place on July 14 in Orwell

The Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project will host a forest restoration presentation and walk on Saturday, July 14.

It takes place on the grounds of the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead in Orwell, with activities beginning at 2 p.m. in the nature centre.

The workshop will look at the concepts behind restoring and enhancing our native Acadian forests, no matter what state they are in. Participants will walk the trails and discuss ways to improve different types of woodlands.

As part of its work on restoring forests, the Macphail Woods project has been using a variety of techniques to improve and enrich stands of old field white spruce or low-value hardwoods. The thinnings, small patch cuts or strip cuts are generally followed with plantings that incorporate a mixture of native trees and shrubs to improve diversity, enhance wildlife habitat and add value. Conifer plantations are generally treated the same way, using small patch cuts to create openings for planting.

Rare plants such as hemlock, red oak, white ash, ironwood, witch hazel and hobblebush have been planted throughout the forest, though more common plants such as yellow birch, white pine, sugar maple and striped maple have also been added. Each area of woodland is looked at as a separate unit to assess what cutting practices will actually improve forest health and which plants are best suited to the area.

The walk will provide an opportunity to not only learn more about woodlands but also to share knowledge. While walking through the various forest types, participants will discuss the variety of techniques that can be used to improve the sites, which may involve cutting and/or planting.

Admission is free and registration is not required. The workshop is part of an extensive series of outdoor activities at Macphail Woods.

For more information on this or upcoming tours and workshops, call 902-651-2575, check out the website or Facebook page.

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