Beech Bark Disease – Recommendations for Property Owners

Proj. #:4736
Description: The Glebe Park and Museum Committee has a mandate to plan for and manage Glebe Park in Haliburton (a 150 acre multi-use park with includes over 125 acres of woodland and the Haliburton Highlands Museum located in Glebe Park). The Committee is a committee of Dysart et al. municipal council. The purpose of the project is to produce a guidebook for recreational and residential property owners to provide 1) education on the importance of beech trees in the forest eco-system 2) information on beech bark disease and its impact on beech trees 3) recommendations on what to do about diseased trees 4) recommendations on what types of tree species could be used to replace these trees. Beech bark disease is a serious issue for forests and for landowners in Haliburton County. It appears that over the next 10 years 99 per cent of the beech trees in the county will die. The diseased trees create a safety hazard for foresters and for people who are in a forest for recreational purposes. Infected trees fall over and their branches fall off. The beech bark disease presents other issues. Beech trees regenerate mainly through root spreading. Although the spread of the beech bark disease will result in the end of large beech trees in the area, they will grow in small, gnarled thickets. The thickets prevent other seedlings from taking root and will prevent the re-growth of a healthy forest with other tree species. The loss of beech trees means a loss of food for wildlife. Beechnuts are food for bears, deer and birds and provide habitat for cavity-nesting birds. There are thousands of people in Haliburton County who have woodlots and wooded recreational and residential properties. Some of these hire professional foresters to assess their forest and make recommendations – but most people are not in this situation. It would be useful to have a guidebook for local landowners to provide education and recommendations on how to deal with this issue on their properties.