Tree talk

On my recent visit with my family in Quebec, Canada, I spent quite a bit of time in the woods. You know the saying “can’t see the forest for the trees?” I like to flip that and notice the individual trees that comprise the forest. This forest on Mont. Rigaud in western Quebec is heavily managed, but interesting nevertheless.

A few trees, like this one, are ancient, first growth relics. The entity that manages this trail saw fit to mark it with a sign and an explanation of how dying and decaying trees, known in French as “chicots” provide shelter and food for  animals and birds.


Here’s the sign.

IMG_3020Here’s another example of how dying trees benefit wildlife. This cedar was riddled with oblong pileated woodpecker holes. Pileateds are the biggest woodpeckers in the area by far, and my sister has them coming to her peanut and sweet feeders where they hammer away at the food.

IMG_2996The beeches are also beautiful. I thought the roots of this specimen were cool –  like elephant skin. This is why mulching tree roots kills so many trees. The roots need to breathe.


There were many white birches along the trail. It’s too warm in Rhode Island now to grow these trees reliably. People have switched to river birches here.

IMG_3029Some of the maples were also tapped for sap. Tubing is the preferred method when you have a large sugar bush. It’s kind of a pain when the squirrels chew it up though.

IMG_3009I am particularly fond of fall and winter hiking because the visibility is so much better, but it’s always a good day when I’m in the woods.






About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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4 Responses to Tree talk

  1. CJ Wright says:

    The pics from your hikes are always so enjoyable. They make me feel like I was hiking, too. Thanks so much for sharing them.


  2. Kathy says:

    I love birch trees! We had many trees with multiple trunks on the property I grew up on in Johnston, but you’re right! As it has warmed up over the years, these lovely trees have moved further and further north! I always know when we’re nearing the colder north on treks to Maine as we start to spot them along the roadsides.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all of your readers, Cynthia!


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