Can The Birch Trees Be Saved?

(Friday, 18 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

birch1.jpgThe man who sold us Sandy Point Resort in 1992 told us all the birch trees would be gone in ten years. Looking around at what seemed like and probably were a thousand beautiful paper white birches on the property, we found that hard to believe. Well, more than 16 years have passed, and the birch trees are not extinct.

Unfortunately, however, they’ve been disappearing at an alarming rate.

In the fall of 2006 we had a lumberjack crew stay at the resort for the weekend. They took down some 200 dead birches around the cabin area and on the disc golf course.

These once beautiful trees are now cut and stacked and supply firewood for our guests at $5 per wheelbarrow load.

 

  birch2.jpg
The birch are affected by both a blight and a bore. Not seeing much evidence of a leaf blight (where the trees’ leaves turn yellow mid-summer and drop), I think it’s the Bronze Birch Borer that’s proven to be lethal to our trees. Our dying trees have all the symptoms including progressive thinning of the crowns starting at the top of the tree. The bore tunnels and weakens the tree trunks by reducing the flow of sap. Consequently, sections break off, fall to the ground and splatter like shredded wheat.


birch3.jpg


And then we have Mother Nature’s tantrums in the form of microburst winds that simply uproot our beautiful birches.

Since the storm last Friday night, we’ve had a lot of folks suggest we simply pull these uprooted birch trees at the lakefront back into place. I took photos of the girls in front of them to show perspective on the size of the “simple” task at hand. I keep thinking we can get some strong straps and use the muscle boat to pull them into place, but Mike seems skeptical about this method.

Our lumberjacks return to Sandy Point on Saturday for a week’s vacation, part of which is in trade for past services. (They offer both tree services and faux painting). Surely they’ll have an idea about how to save these trees.

 

 

 

 

 

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