Photographs of an Old Growth
Red Oak stand on the Chebucto Peninsula (Nova Scotia)

Click on images for larger versions.

Posted 1 Oct. 2009.
Updated 3 Nov. 2009.

These photos are posted to complement
an article published in The Bridge (November, 2009).
See Text

More photographs and comments to be added. To be sure you are viewing the latest version, refresh this page in your browser.

oak stand

Red Oak

Yellow Birch

Striped Maple

Witch Hazel

Forest Floor, Snags, Fallen Dead

Hardwoods tended to snap off, softwoods (in mixed or softwood stands outside of the main oak stand) to uproot.

Many cavities in larger snags



Old fallen logs are nurseries for many species.

"Boulder field" on eastern flank interrupts oak cover; here, paper birch grows amongst boulders.

Fir and Spruce

Fir/black spruce on western flank

There were several tall red spruce toward the edges of the main oak stand. A core from a red spuce, 17" dbh, indicated a minimum age of 101.


Boglands and low, moist black spruce forest separate
the old growth oak from adjacent, more contiguous woodlands.

Fungus on black spruce in boggy areas

Rich hummocky bogs occur to the east and west of the hill. This is on the east side, looking west. At right: Tall Rhodora & Mt. Holly at edges of bogs; conifer zone behind.

Bog huckleberry in flower; at right: bakeapple

Hummocky bog on west side. There was a distinct animal run through the bog.

Footprint, approx 18 cm length.

rose pogonia

Nearby Oak Woods

oak oak
oak oak
These areas supported mixed hardwoods with red oak still tending to be a dominant species Compared to the old growth oak stand, they
  • lacked striped maple
  • had a less well developed witch hazel subcanopy
  • largely lacked yellow birch; some big tooth aspen present; more paper birch; white pine was noticebably absent in the areas we walked through ( it was also absent at the old growth stand)
  • had very little fallen dead wood and snags
  • appeared to be of younger, more uniform (even) age, mosty 4-6" dbh, although occasional large oaks were present
In some areas, tall huckleberry (approx 2 m, 6 feet) seemed to exclude seedlings of hardwood species. The fetaures above are suggestive of a canopy-killing disturbance(s) within the not-too-distant past, presumably fire and possibly oakleaf roller damage which was apparently extensive about 40 years ago. If such areas are not further disturbed by frequent fires, or by cutting, it seems likely they would eventually develop more of the characteristics observed in the old growth stand.