Canadian Biomass Magazine

Nova Scotia moves to ban whole-tree harvesting

July 18, 2013
By Canadian Biomass

July 19, 2013 – The province of Nova Scotia will ban whole-tree and full-tree harvesting to ensure that the forestry sector remains sustainable for the future.

Whole-tree harvesting removes the entire tree, including
stem, branches, stump and roots, out of a forest site to a landing or roadside.

In full-tree harvesting, the stump and roots remain at the
forest site, but the stem and branches are removed.

"Nova Scotians clearly told us they were opposed to
both of these practices and we are honouring our commitment to ban them,"
said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. "These practices were
allowed to go on for too long, and we are making the right decision for the
health of the forests and the sustainability of the forest industry."

In December 2010, the province said it would stop the
removal of whole trees from the forests so that woody debris would remain to
nurture new growth. The Path We Share, the province's natural resources
strategy, promised to establish rules for whole-tree harvesting and to
incorporate them into the Code of Forest Practice.


The Christmas tree industry is exempt from these rules, as
are non-forestry operations such as land-clearing, real estate, and

The province reviewed full tree harvesting practices across
Canada and related scientific literature.

"Ending whole-tree harvesting is a very positive step
forward for the forests of Nova Scotia," said Tom Miller, owner of
Bearwood Farms, woodlot owner of the year in 2005, and a wood harvester for
more than 35 years. "This is a good news story for the future
sustainability of our woodlands. The province is to be commended for their
handling of this issue."

Amendments to the Wildlife Habitat and Watercourses
Protection Regulations will be made accordingly.

"Our next step is to give the public time to review and
comment on these proposed regulations, as required under the Forests Act,"
said Mr. Parker.

The public may submit comments until August 20 on the
Natural Resources website at

Whole-tree operations in Nova Scotia harvest less than
100,000 green metric tonnes. That represents less than four per cent of the
total annual provincial tree harvest.

The province has worked closely with woodlot owners,
harvesters and other forestry stakeholders for the past three years to improve
harvesting methods, and invested in the sector by providing funding for
training; all while dealing with significant changes in the mills sector.

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