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P.E.I. sets tree-planting goal after woodlands left trampled by post-tropical storm

The Prince Edward Island government is spending $1 million to replant forests after post-tropical storm Fiona knocked down thousands of trees in the province last year.

The government is expanding a tree nursery in northwest Charlottetown and giving money to municipalities to replant, according to a statement from the province Monday.

Provincial staff will work with people in agriculture to expand forests, help plant in watersheds and set landowners up for “planting plans,” the statement said.

“Prince Edward Island is committed to increasing our tree production by 30 percent to 1,300,000 trees per year,” said Steven Myers, minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, in the statement.

“This funding will make sure we are maintaining and growing our forested lands.”

The additional 300,000 trees each year will make a significant difference, according to Aitazaz Farooque, an interim associate dean at the University of Prince Edward Island's School of Climate Change and Adaptation.

"This is extremely important because we are looking forward and we are looking ahead to develop those solutions to achieve our net-zero targets," said Farooque.

The province plans to hit its target by expanding the J. Frank Gaudet Tree Nursery and building three new greenhouses at the site.

"Forests aren't gone because of Fiona," said Hailey Blacquiere, programming coordinator with the P.E.I. Two Billion Trees campaign. "They're re-age classed, so those forests will naturally regenerate. Just planting trees will give them an extra boost in growing quickly."

Staff will only plant six native species of trees, in the interest of biodiversity, climate change and seed availability, the statement says. The species include spruce, pine and hemlock.

Municipalities will be able to apply online for up to $50,000 in funding to plant trees in common areas, green spaces and replant so-called “legacy trees.”

The money can be spent on trees, planting tools, equipment rentals and professional help, the statement says.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jack Morse

For more P.E.I. news, visit our dedicated provincial page.


This is a corrected article. A previous version said Aitazaz Farooque was an interim associate dean at Dalhousie University. Top Stories

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