Happy National Tree Day!

Today we celebrate National Tree Day. Did you know that it's also the 100th anniversary of #NationalForestWeek?

There's no better way to celebrate New Brunswick trees than a Q&A with The Great Trees of New Brunswick co-author Tracy Glynn.

A native of Miramichi and daughter of a horse-logging father, Tracy Glynn was the forest campaigner at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick from 2006 to 2018. Glynn teaches at St. Thomas University, writes and coordinates editing for the NB Media Co-op, and works with land defenders across Turtle Island, Indonesia, the Philippines, Guatemala, Colombia, and beyond.

Q: Tell us about how The Great Trees of New Brunswick book came about.
A: Forester David Palmer approached the Conservation Council of New Brunswick about writing a second edition of The Great Trees of New Brunswick. He wanted to honour the memory of his friend, David Folster, who wrote the first edition. I jumped on the chance to participate in this interesting project, which I thought would be a lovely way to end my time as the forest campaigner at the Conservation Council. I approached Goose Lane, a Fredericton-based publisher of books, to see if they were interested in publishing the book and it took no convincing, they were immediately interested. David did the heavy lifting of visiting almost every tree nominated for the book, taking its measurements and listening to the nominators' stories of their great tree. David and I spent 2018 and 2019 learning more about our trees and writing the book.

Q: Why do you think it's important for New Brunswickers to foster a relationship with our forests?
A: Our forests are so magnificent. Our forests are home to 32 different native tree species, beautiful forest orchids, funky mushrooms, songbirds, woodpeckers and owls, and so many other creatures that are worthy of getting to know, love, and protect.

Q: The Great Trees of New Brunswick Second Edition had such a strong emphasis on native species. Can you tell us why?
A: We wanted to make sure to include a chapter on each native tree species as well as some of the exotic species that folks have come to know and love. The first edition celebrated many of the common trees that folks know like the eastern white pine and sugar maple but we wanted to produce a folksy field guide that would allow readers to identify all the different trees of our forest, including the more elusive ones.

Q: Climate change and invasive species such as the emerald ash borer pose significant threats to our forests. How do you think these will affect the trees featured in this book?
A: Scientists say that climate change and invasive species could lead to the extirpation of some of our native trees. Some of our native trees are endangered like the butternut. In the book, we discuss the outlook for each tree and we discuss how human actions are affecting our trees.
In the book, we write about the emerald ash-borer and how it is ravaging ash stands in eastern Canada and the U.S. All of our three native ash species are susceptible and they show no natural resistance to the insect. The National Tree Seed Centre in Fredericton is collecting ash seed for genetic conservation and it is hoped that ash will have a future in our forest.

Q: What tree is your favorite?
A: That's a hard question. I think all our trees are special. I am continually stunned by yellow birch and its shimmery bark, basswood in bloom, and golden tamarack in the fall. If I had to pick one tree that is special to me, it would be an old eastern white pine on the road where I grew up. Known simply as “the pine tree” to my family and neighbors, the lopsided tree was a meeting place where we would watch for black bears while devouring raspberries. Watching the sun set behind the tree never gets old for me.

Buy your copy of The Great Trees of New Brunswick, 2nd Edition today, and be sure to do your part to help protect our great trees by taking acting against invasive species!

Visit the New Brunswick Invasive Species Council website for more stories like this.
 © 2018 NBEN / RENB