Phase 2 Report

Christmas Tree Plantation: Site Plan
Prepared for Greenwood New Brunswick Project Ltd.
March 27, 2009

209...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

Executive Summary
This report presents the resu...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

Table of Contents
Hollands Forestry Consulting ...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

1.0 Site Inspection
The Greenwood New Brunswick...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

$1,000 and $4,000 dollars to the landowner depe...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

1.2 York 104.4 acres
The site visit to the York...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

include cedar, balsam fir, aspen poplar, white ...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

Chris Dickie 2, Christmas Tree Specialist with ...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

Soil Acidity: Results suggest that the central ...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

Important first considerations in plantation es...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

times during the growing season is recommended....
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

are considered deficient on the site requiring ...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

4. A gate is required at the highway entrance t...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

Various options exist to convert the site from ...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

5.3 Access Road
Only a portion of the property ...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

An allocation is recommended to better stabiliz...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

cost is estimated at $13,000 in 2010. The culti...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

Target Area
Chipping Option
Time = 0
Activity
c...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

Appendix I
The boundary is well marked at the n...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

Image AI.03. Remnant wire
fence line along sout...
Hollands Forestry Consulting
Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick

Appendix II

Page | 21
Hollands Soil Analysis - Sunpoke NB

Soil Analysis Results and Recommendations
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Hollands Soil Analysis - Stanley NB

Soil Analysis Results and Recommendations
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Greenwood Management forestry investment report

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This is an independent report into the establishment of Christmas tree crops on one of the Greenwood Management forestry investment sites situated in York county, New Brunswick Canada. Greenwood Management have substantial investments in the region owning and operating three sites stretching from York county outside of the city of Fredericton New Brunswick through to Grand Falls in the North of the county.

Christmas trees are predominantly exported from the state of new Brunswick to the United states. Christmas trees have become a specialized tree crop over the years and breeding trees for slow growth has dramatically changed the way the tree foliage appears. In this forestry investment report the establishment of forestry crops on the York county site development is covered including land preparation and planting costs tailed for the project.

Further to the successful development of the York county site in New Brunswick Greenwood Management (GWM) expanded its activities converting two additional sites comprising of a further 300 acres.

It is therefore expected that Greenwood Management will account for approximately 6% of the total Christmas tree production in the state by 2018.

Alongside the company's already established forestry investment projects in Canada the company also owns and operates substantial farm forestry areas in the Bahia region of Brazil. Currently the company has approximately 5,000 hectares of plantation forestry in the state of Bahia and is expected to aggressively expand the company's forestry investment projects in the region over the next few years. Alongside this company also has an established horticultural division producing farm food crops for the domestic Brazilian market.

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Greenwood Management forestry investment report

  1. 1. Phase 2 Report Christmas Tree Plantation: Site Plan Prepared for Greenwood New Brunswick Project Ltd. March 27, 2009 2095438 Ontario Ltd. o/a Hollands Forestry Consulting 199 Ravina Avenue Garson, Ontario, P3L 1A7 Tel: 705 693 9089 Fax: 705 693 9191 email: forester@onlink.net
  2. 2. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick Executive Summary This report presents the results of a site visit to the Greenwood New Brunswick Project Ltd. properties in York and Sundbury Townships near Fredericton New Brunswick Canada. The site visit was conducted from September 1 to 5, 2008. The purpose for the site visit was to verify site conditions and to provide recommendations regarding the suitability of converting the properties into Christmas tree plantations. Contact was also made with the local Christmas tree grower’s support agency resulting in a joint inspection of the York property with a representative of the agency. In addition contact was made with a local Christmas tree grower. A site visit to this grower`s property at the invitation of the grower occurred and observation of grower’s crews conducting pruning work and discussion of tree grading also occurred. The site visit affirmed that the majority of the Sundbury site will not support development as it sits in a flood plain. The resulting productive area suitable for supporting development is estimated at 3.7 acres (1.5 hectares). The limited productive area of the Sundbury parcel and the deficiencies noted in the soil analysis clearly reduce this site’s development potential for Christmas tree production. This parcel’s role in the Greenwood New Brunswick Project Ltd. portfolio should be evaluated. The York parcel demonstrated good potential for conversion to Christmas tree production subject to appropriate investment. The entire site requires clearance of its woody vegetation and conversion of the parcel to an agricultural condition. Approximately 35 ha are estimated available for conversion to plantation. However soil analysis and initial augering efforts suggest uncertainty about the development potential of the central portion of the property that currently supports young mid-rotation balsam fir. This area appears to have a subsurface impediment layer that is influencing its productivity. Until further evaluation has occurred it is recommended that the central portion of the area be bypassed. The area may qualify for a stand improvement subsidy for thinning through a provincial program. This results in a development potential of approximately 26 hectares. Should the decision to proceed with development of the York site, improvements to access and the creek water crossing, along with access control at the highway entrance to the property are recommended. Page | 2
  3. 3. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick Table of Contents Hollands Forestry Consulting ...................................................................................................... 1 Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ 2 1.0 Site Inspection........................................................................................................................... 4 1.1 Sundbury 40 acres ................................................................................................................. 4 1.2 York 104.4 acres ................................................................................................................... 6 1.3 Soil Analysis and Fertility .................................................................................................... 8 1.3.1 Soils for York 104.4 acres ............................................................................................. 8 1.3.2 Soils for Sundbury 40.0 acres ........................................................................................ 9 2.0 Best Management Practices ...................................................................................................... 9 3.0 Species Selection .................................................................................................................... 11 4.0 Recommendations ................................................................................................................... 11 4.1 Sundbury 40 acre ................................................................................................................ 11 4.2 York 104.4 acre ................................................................................................................... 12 5.0 Implementation Plan & Costing.............................................................................................. 13 5.1 Site Preparation ................................................................................................................... 13 5.2 Tiling to Improve Drainage ................................................................................................ 14 5.3 Access Road ........................................................................................................................ 15 5.4 Access Control .................................................................................................................... 16 5.5 Seedling Procurement ......................................................................................................... 16 5.5 Planting ............................................................................................................................... 16 5.6 Establishment Cost.............................................................................................................. 17 Appendix I .................................................................................................................................... 19 Appendix II ................................................................................................................................... 21 Page | 3
  4. 4. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick 1.0 Site Inspection The Greenwood New Brunswick Project Ltd. properties were inspected in early September 2009. The site visit consisted of 3.5 contact days scouting, mapping and assessing the York property, 1.0 days scouting, mapping and assessing the Sundbury property, and 0.5 contact days networking and establishing local industry contacts. One day was also allocated for travel between Ontario and New Brunswick. Networking activities consisted of visiting two area Christmas tree plantations, with one of these visits accompanied by the owner. A small ‘hobby’ cedar sawmill was visited near the Sundbury property. Networking also included a visit to the Forestry Centre in Fredericton New Brunswick to become familiarized with the various provincial, federal, and institutional agencies that serve the natural resource community in the region. 1.1 Sundbury 40 acres The results of the site inspections suggest that the Sundbury parcel is too small to make a significant contribution towards development. The majority of area of this parcel is east of the road in terrain subject to seasonal high water conditions. This seasonal floodway makes this property an interesting ecological feature, however this condition limits conversion of the property to the commercial development identified as the objective of the land owner. West of the road, a rock outcrop adjacent to the access road and the proximity of a rich bottom land forest condition along the creek drainage (figure 1) that forms the north boundary of this property restricts Christmas tree development potential to about 1.5 ha which would support approximately 3,000 trees. The productive portion of the Figure 1. Creek forming north boundary of Sundbury 40 acre. property supports mature red spruce and cedar. Clearcut harvesting of the Sundbury property would yield approximately 5 loads of red spruce, balsam fir and cedar resulting in an estimated stumpage between Page | 4
  5. 5. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick $1,000 and $4,000 dollars to the landowner depending on market conditions and products generated from the timber sale. Good red spruce and cedar sawlog material is present on the site. However the volume is small due to the small area. A decision to not develop this site for Christmas tree production would typically result in a recommendation of the use of a partial harvest system to mange this forest type. Shelterwood partial harvest systems retain mature canopy for natural seeding and partial shade required to properly regeneration the forest over a harvest cycle of ten to twenty-five years depending on regeneration response. This reduces the immediate volume available to one to two loads of wood. The application of partial harvest systems to naturally regenerate this site thus results in marginally viable harvest chance. The harvest is by no means a guaranteed viable commercial harvest for most operators. However this might be suitable for a small independent operator looking for local work. Similar volumes may be harvested from this property in five to ten years depending on establishment of renewal and crown structure of the remaining trees. The practice of good forestry on this property however generates insignificant revenue for the landowner. The maintenance of this property in a natural and obviously important ecological condition may however achieve other objectives of the landowner. The presence of cedar and red spruce indicates that soils are rich and very moist, implying that any conversion to Christmas tree plantation would require tiling to improve drainage. Figure 2 displays these bottomland forest conditions. Property corner pins or markers were not found during this portion of the site visit. A formal survey to verify parcel boundaries may be required if the corner points cannot be located during subsequent site visits. Figure 2. Rich bottomland forest condition with red spruce, birch and fern ground cover on the Sundbury 40 acre. Page | 5
  6. 6. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick 1.2 York 104.4 acres The site visit to the York property resulted in confirmation of the location of most of the property pin markers. Six of the eight pins were observed in the field. Photos of the northern corner points and remnants of a wire fence line and evidence of a cleared property survey line were noted along the south boundary. Photos of these features are presented in Appendix I. Remnants of an old cedar rail fence were also evident along the southeast portion of the property, west of the creek gully. The fence line did not appear to carry on too far into the property. The property boundary beyond the end of the fence line was not clearly distinguishable. Care in determining the north boundary of the property is suggested for any undertaking on the property. Forest conditions vary across the property. The entrance to the property is primarily grasses. The area immediately across the creek supports the remnants of an old apple orchard and indications of previous cultivation. There is a small clearing with grasses and small brush present (figure 3), however the majority of the ground cover in this area is heavy brush comprised of willow and alder as displayed in the background of figure 3. The presence of willow and alder indicates issues with drainage on the site. The land then transitions into young midrotation balsam fir that is Figure 3. Organic incorporation in the surface soils, old field and recolonizing shrubs indicate evidence of past agricultural development west of creek, York 104 acres. currently marketable as pulp, or may be eligible for silvicultural subsidy 1 for commercial or pre-commercial thinning. The balance of the property supports a healthy and vigourous regenerating young forest of mixed species in the area that was previously clearcut. Regenerating trees in the clearcut portion of the property 1 Application can be made to the York Sundbury Charlotte Forest Products Marketing Board for funds to support stand improvement activities. Page | 6
  7. 7. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick include cedar, balsam fir, aspen poplar, white birch, grey birch, and sugar maple. This site can be considered fully regenerated and depending on landowner objectives may be considered free to grow. Like the observation of the forest, soil conditions also vary across the property. Soils in the entrance of the property are somewhat constricted by a dry clay, porous shale type soil that may prove difficult to cultivate. The soils immediately across the creek were previously cultivated and will prove suitable for supporting Christmas trees once the brush has been cleared and the land tilled or cultivated. Tile drainage would improve the productivity of this area. Figure 4 displays the rich agricultural soils disturbed recently by someone accessing the property with all terrain equipment when the site was saturated resulting in rutting, erosion and sedimentation. This evidence demonstrates the importance of drainage and establishment of a solid road base from which to work and access the site. The area of young midrotation balsam fir proved difficult to auger when collecting the soil samples. There is a high proportion Figure 4. Disturbed agriculture soils west side of creek, York 104 acres. of coarse fragment in the surface soils or possibly a soil condition similar to the coarse shale material found in the entrance area to the property. Alternatively this area may have surface limestone bed rock present. This area may not prove suitable for conversion to Christmas tree plantation. Further soil mapping is required to determine the suitability of this site for Christmas tree production prior to the removal of the young early rotation balsam fir stand presently occupying this site. The clear cut area comprises the bulk of the area available for conversion to Christmas tree plantation. Trees are young and can easily be chipped or bulldozed to remove from the site. However soil moisture conditions are too wet to ensure survival and suitable productivity without tilling to improve drainage. The importance of improved drainage on the York property is the main consideration identified by Page | 7
  8. 8. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick Chris Dickie 2, Christmas Tree Specialist with INFOR 3. Mr. Dickie affirmed that the current moisture regime of the property will subject the seedlings to increase incidence of root rot and suboptimal growth and vigour response. In addition Mr. Dickie indicated that productive area would also be limited since portions of the property would be too wet to support equipment required for plantation maintenance and tending. Results of soil analysis performed by INFOR to assess the initial fertility of the site is presented in the section below. 1.3 Soil Analysis and Fertility Soil analysis services were provided by INFOR. Interpretation of result and recommendation on fertilization were provided by Chris Dickie, Christmas Tree Specialist for INFOR. Surface soils were sampled from various locations across the property. Areas of similar conditions were combined to produce a blended sample. In general two to three soil samples were combined in the field to form the base of each analyzed sample. Results of the soil analysis demonstrated in general that soils were somewhat more acidic than that which produces optimum growing conditions and that essential soil nutrients were somewhat limited. Improving drainage will assist with improving the pH, along with liming. This will also assist with improving available nutrients. However fertilizers and lime are required to bring the sites into alignment for effective seedling establishment. Specific observations for each site are discussed in the following section. 1.3.1 Soils for York 104.4 acres Soil Organic Component: The analysis of the twelve York site samples indicated the organic component of the soil is generally adequate for Christmas tree production with the lowest value noted as 4.1% and ranging to a high of 8.4%. The surface rock encounter in the area near the standing young midrotation balsam fir suggests an adnominal result at 19.7% and is suspected to be a function of localized soil impediment or surface bedrock. The target minimum value for Christmas tree production is identified as a surface soil organic material component of 4.5% or greater. Organic incorporation in surface soils is thus generally adequate to support productive Christmas tree production. Analysis results are presented in Appendix II. A map displaying sample locations and the pH zones is also presented in Appendix II. 2 The author was accompanied by Chris Dickie during a site visit to the York property the morning of September 2, 2008 to provide advice and share his experience regarding Christmas tree culture, and to verify the sampling methodology used for soil sampling by INFOR. 3 INFOR is a key resource supporting the New Brunswick Christmas Tree industry. Page | 8
  9. 9. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick Soil Acidity: Results suggest that the central portion of the property which largely corresponds to the area currently occupied by the standing young mid-rotation balsam fir and the section of property adjacent to the north boundary tree line are too acidic for productive Christmas tree production. Augmentation of the soil with Dolimitic lime to increase pH is recommended should this area be identified for conversion to Christmas tree production. Dolimitic lime is recommended as it makes available to plants the macronutrients like magnesium that are also noted as deficient. Improved drainage will also contribute to reducing the acidic nature of the soil and improve the availability of macronutrients to plants. Macronutrients: Calcium (Ca) Magnesium (Mg) and potassium (K) shown to be deficient or of limited availability. Improving pH (reducing acidity) and the addition of fertilizer to bring the field up to desired thresholds and annual monitoring to establish maintenance fertilizing levels will assist with achieving optimum growing conditions. Calcium appears strongly correlated with areas of the property were pH is established as being too low for productive Christmas tree growth. The deficiencies for magnesium and potassium are broader and more typical of native soil conditions. 1.3.2 Soils for Sundbury 40.0 acres Soils were sampled in the productive forest area of the property. Three soil samples were analyzed collected from five points. Analysis results indicate that all samples were deficient to the requirements for productive Christmas tree plantations. The pH ranged from 4.3 to 4.8, well below the accepted target of 5.5+. Organic matter is well below the desired minimum 4.5% target. Macronutrients calcium, magnesium, and potassium were all demonstrated deficient. No sampling of soils occurred in the unproductive floodway area of the property due to the limited development potential of the site. Sample results are presented in Appendix II. A site map of sample locations and pH zones is also presented in Appendix II. 2.0 Best Management Practices The following discussion is sourced primarily from Estabrooks (1986) 4 which provides information for plantation establishment and maintenance. The information is supplemented by fall 2008 discussions between the author with the INFOR Christmas Tree Specialist and local growers Brian Fox and Jeff McMullen. The following presents the current understanding of Christmas tree plantation cultivation. 4 Estabrooks, G.F. 1986. Growing balsam fir Christmas trees in field and forest. Government of Canada, Canadian Forestry Service – Maritimes, Information Report M-X-164, revised 1988. 23 pp. Page | 9
  10. 10. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick Important first considerations in plantation establishment are the identification of boundaries, and the planning of roadways and tree spacing. Property boundaries should be clearly marked. An all season road way will assist with maintenance and access during wet seasons. Plantation design should leave two unplanted rows after each 12 to 16 rows providing effective access to the site for tree maintenance and reducing the distance for the physical handling of harvested trees from stump to the trailer for transport to the processing area. Spacing of 1.5 X 1.5 metres is adequate to produce quality Christmas trees in the 2.0 to 2.4 metre height range (6’ to 8’). Most growers use a 1.8 X 1.8 metre tree spacing to accommodate small tractors or all terrain vehicle access between rows for maintenance. Jeff McMullen installed modified rails on maintenance equipment to catch and lift low hanging branches up out of the reach of mower blades and tractor tires reducing damage to trees in their early development years. Tree culture and routine management practices of weed and insect control, fertilizing and harvesting are more easily performed under field conditions rather than on forest sites. Agricultural practices greatly reduce manual labour requirements. Site preparation typically involves plowing and harrowing to break the sod, cultivate compacted areas, level the surface, improve drainage and aeration. The York site however requires removal of the existing forest vegetation before cultivation can be considered. Tile drainage is also recommended for the York site in order to consider the broadest range of species and to reduce root rot potential associated with wet soil conditions. Soil pH above 5.5 is recommended for productive Christmas tree production. Soil analysis to provide an indication of macronutrient levels of calcium, phosphorous and potassium will also assist with planning soil enhancements to promote optimum growth. Spring application after the rainy season winds down is typically the most appropriate time for fertilization. Splitting the target fertilization amount into two applications about six weeks apart leads to more effective uptake by the trees, however requiring labour costs for two applications. Warm soil conditions also enhance nutrient uptake further supporting the two application approach. Late application of fertilizer can prolong growth late into the season delaying dormancy and putting the plant at risk of frost damage. Ground cover comprised of clover, a low ground cover known to add nitrogen to the soil, coupled with low growing grasses such as creeping fescue or Kentucky bluegrass is considered to be desirable. Mowing to control taller grasses and weeds, and reduce damage from rodents, coupled with herbicide applications provides effective control of weeds that threaten crop establishment. Mowing a minimum of two Page | 10
  11. 11. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick times during the growing season is recommended. Weeds compete with crop trees for site resources of water, nutrients and growing space. Weed control is critical during the first two years of plantation establishment and beneficial to the tree in subsequent years. Weed control also reduces fire risk. Herbicide use to assist with site preparation and control of weeds provides and effective tool to assist plantation establishment and maintenance. However care is required in selecting the application rate and method long with timing of the application to ensure the crop trees are not damaged by their use. Similar care is also required when applying fertilizers and lime to improve field fertility. 3.0 Species Selection Three tree species are typically used in the New Brunswick area for Christmas tree plantations. Balsam fir is the most common tree planted for Christmas trees and is noted as the province’s provincial tree. Frazer fir is also planted and is desired by many for its foliage colour and branching and its ability to retain its needles long after harvest. Frazer fir is also noted for its exacting site and fertilization requirements making it a demanding crop to cultivate. The species requires well drained sites and optimally timed and blended fertilization regimes to achieve growth, and later to achieve desired colour at harvest. Cross species cultivars of Frazer-balsam are now available and are being tested and planted in New Brunswick. The intent of the cross is benefit from the Frazer`s foliage and needle retention while benefiting from the balsam fir`s wider site tolerances. Tiling of the York site to improve drainage is required if the potential to plant Frazer fir is to be considered. This drainage work is also required to reduce the risk of root rot in balsam fir and assure plantation productivity. Brian Fox of Fox Brand is identified as a competent source in guiding the selection of species and subsequent Christmas tree establishment. 4.0 Recommendations 4.1 Sundbury 40 acre 1. It is the author’s opinion that Greenwood New Brunswick Project Ltd. considers the value of the Sundbury 40 acre parcel as part of the company’s holdings. Boundaries are not clearly defined however it appears that less than 10% of the area of the property can be developed to support Christmas trees. In addition, soil moisture, soil organic component, soil pH and soil nutrients Page | 11
  12. 12. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick are considered deficient on the site requiring significant augmentation for productive Christmas tree culture. The current forest cover on the site is an appropriate productive use for the site. Security of the site is also a consideration due to the property`s relative remoteness. Access is however good during the snow free months. The property has significant ecological value as a seasonal floodway east of the road and supports a small patch of rich bottomland forest immediately adjacent and west of the road. These ecological features may be marketable to some that wish to have good forest management and protection of sensitive sites in their portfolio. 4.2 York 104.4 acre 1. Application should be made to access silviculture funding for thinning the early rotation balsam fir standing on the York 104 acres. Simultaneously, further site inspection should be conducted to determine the source of the restrictive layer in the soil profile and thus determine whether or not this portion of the property can be converted to Christmas tree plantation. This approach would then provide required information to make an informed decision as to the value of converting this portion of the property to Christmas tree plantation or the value of maintenance and enhancement of the existing timber crop. 2. Application should be made to the Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture 5 to convert a portion of the York site to agriculture under the province’s current incentive program. The designated area could remain in production for the term required by the program prior to conversion to Christmas tree production. 3. While options exist on the method and technique to clear the vegetation from the site, any decision to proceed with development of either property must be accompanied with the intent and commitment to the installation of tile drainage. Installation of tile drainage is required to allow species selection options, reduce potential for root rot, increase site productivity, and permit access for tending, maintenance and harvesting equipment without damaging or impacting the site. 5 The Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture currently supports 35% of eligible costs to convert land to agriculture to a maximum of $7,500. Page | 12
  13. 13. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick 4. A gate is required at the highway entrance to control access to the property once investment into the site occurs. 5. The upgrade and maintenance of approximately 400 metres of existing road and extension of this access by approximately 750 metres is required to ensure the entire parcel is accessible in the event that a decision to proceed is considered. 6. Capital improvements are recommended for the culvert installation on the creek at the entrance to the property to protect access and bring the culvert installation more in line with water crossing standards. The following section presents information and costs supporting the above recommendations. 5.0 Implementation Plan & Costing All cost estimates presented below assume development of the York property only and assume the full 35 hectares of available land are converted. It is assumed that the Sundbury property will not be developed and thus costs are not considered for this site. The author is prepared to develop cost estimates for the Sundbury site should the decision occur to proceed with developing the productive area of the Sundbury parcel into a Christmas tree plantation. 5.1 Site Preparation Areas targeted for conversion to Christmas tree plantation required the conversion of the land to an agricultural condition. This cultivation makes the site more uniform permitting mechanical planting and thus better spacing control to optimize utilization of productive land. Uniform conditions enable the grower greater control over site conditions, vegetative competition, and more efficient access for maintenance and tending of the plantation. The conversion to an agricultural condition requires the removal of the existing vegetation, roots, and large rocks, tilling and cultivating of the land. This effort is followed by the application of herbicides to control the re-establishment of forest brush and tree species and to allow the establishment of a cover crop that will hold and protect the site. Cover crops tend to be a blend or mixture of grasses, fescues, and clover. It is also possible to establish some agricultural crops like rye during the initial years to generate some revenues during plantation establishment. The rye also acts as a cover crop protecting the ground cover species while they are being established. Page | 13
  14. 14. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick Various options exist to convert the site from forest to agricultural condition. Equipment with brushing or chipping heads can be used to reduce the woody biomass to chip form which is then incorporated into the soil structure. Excavators are then used to remove large stumps and rocks. The site is now ready for tilling, herbicide applications and disking to prepare the surface soils for seeding to a cover crop. This option produces a field suitable for agriculture for approximately $4230 per acre ($10,452/ha). No area is lost to windrow or piled vegetative debris. All chipped wood fibre remains on site and contributes to the organic component of the soil. Alternatively, a D8 tractor can be used to windrow surface vegetation, clearing the site for the soil grinder or tilling and cultivating using regular farming tools. Windrows should be allowed to sit for a year or two prior to bringing the grinder in to mulch and convert the windrows to productive area. This option will create a site suitable for agriculture, however productive area is lost due to the presence of windrows that require subsequent treatment to recapture this area. This treatment is estimated at $2800 per acre ($6918/ha). This price does not include the additional cost of removing the windrows at a future date. Total price for the chipping site preparation strategy for 35 hectares is $365,831.60, while the windrow method is estimated at a cost of $242,158.00 plus a future cost of $10,000 to $15,000 to cultivate the windrows and recover the productive area. Plantable area will be reduced in the initial years by the presence of the windrows. 5.2 Tiling to Improve Drainage Conversion of the Greenwood properties to Christmas tree plantation is not recommended unless drainage is included as part of the site preparation plan. Productive Christmas tree plantations require conditions similar to cultivated agricultural lands to provide the optimum growing conditions required by the trees. Healthy, vigourous trees are more able to defend themselves from insect and fungal pests. Current soil conditions are too wet to allow regular passage of tending equipment traffic. Wet soils are also known to promote root rot in balsam fir. Consideration of planting Fraser fir cannot occur under the current existing wet conditions. This species requires fertile, well drained sites to be productive and healthy. Tile drainage is recommended to protect trees from risk of root rot and to allow for a broader range of species selection opportunities, thus mitigating establishment risk. The cost of tiling is estimated at $1500-$1600 per acre ($3,700-$3,955/ha). Page | 14
  15. 15. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick 5.3 Access Road Only a portion of the property is accessed. Good access is required into support maintenance and tending activities and to ensure that the product can be can be effectively harvested, processed and hauled to market during the fall wet season. Figure 5 demonstrates rutting caused by local traffic which prohibits limits access to the site. Improvement of the existing trail and extension of this trail into the York property is recommended. This work can be accomplished during the site preparation phase of the project. Approximately 400 metres of road should be upgraded west of the creek. And approximately 750 metres of trail should be constructed to create this access. It is estimated $30,000 is required for maintenance and establishment of the access trail and capping the trail with a light coating of gravel. The culvert crossing the creek on the property is also poorly installed and does not reflect best management practices. The existing culvert appears to be a reasonable size however it is not known that an assessment of the watershed and its flood potential based on provincial standards has been performed to determine if the current culvert is adequate for projected high water conditions. It is evident from the site visit that the installation does not meet accepted standards and thus it is Figure 5. Light ditching and a skiff of gravel on portions of the existing trail will improve access to support maintenance and tending activities, note rutting cause by uncontrolled access, York 104 acres. doubtful that culvert size calculations were preformed prior to installation. Observations suggesting a lack of formal water crossing planning includes: • • lack of silt barriers or run off diversions to mitigate sedimentation • 6 culvert length being too short to allow for stabile fill slopes to hold ciulvert in place lack of armouring of the approaches to the culvert 6. Water crossings standards required the use of rip rap (clean stone) or buttresses to buffer high water levels and channel run off through the culvert instead of eroding and undermining the fill supporting the culvert causing a wash out. Page | 15
  16. 16. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick An allocation is recommended to better stabilize this critical structure as it controls access to the property. Water crossing maintenance is estimated at $20,000 5.4 Access Control The property`s access is currently used by adventurist members of the public looking for off road challenges. A gate controlling access to the property at the highway is recommended to protect investment in the road and plantation. Two other access points occur in the midpoint of the property permitting access to both abutting properties. Consultation with owners of the abutting properties would be appropriate to determine the appropriate access controls. Subject to access controls on the neighbouring properties, such control may not be required. Contact with adjacent neighbours has not occurred at this time. In the event access control with the neighbouring property is desired, physical barriers such as berms or ditching can be used create this access control. This type of access control can be built into the site clearing and tile drainage work. The gate at the highway is estimated at $5,000.00 for installation. 5.5 Seedling Procurement Brian Fox of Fox Brand is recognized by the industry as a quality grower of Christmas tree stock. Planting stock is $0.70/seedling. Seedlings for establishment are sold as 3+1 or 2+2 stock 7. This planting should occur no sooner than the season following the site preparation. Approximately 87,500 trees can be planted on an estimated 35 ha of productive land. The Christmas tree production life cycle is approximately 12 years. Ten years growing and a two year re-cultivating the land and re-establishing the crop. Thus it is recommended that approximately 8,750 trees be established on an annual basis over the next ten years to develop an even flow management of the Christmas tree crop starting in 2010. Seedling procurement is estimated to cost $6,125.00 for 2010. 5.5 Planting Mr. Fox will plant the seedlings at a cost of $1.30/seedling with a minimum order of 10,000 seedlings. Thus, the unit planting cost for 8,750 seedlings is $1.49 per seedling. Planting is undertaken by mechanical planting machine creating a consistent spacing and planted position in the soil. Establishment 7 The first number refers to the number years grown in the establishment nursery bed. The second number refers to the number of years transplanted to a second nursery bed. Page | 16
  17. 17. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick cost is estimated at $13,000 in 2010. The cultivation of the site is required for efficient mechanical planting and control of planting costs. 5.6 Establishment Cost The following table presents a three year window estimating the establishment costs to convert the York site to Christmas tree plantation at 8,750 trees per year. The scenario compares the two land clearing methods assuming 86.5 acres of productive land is available. Without consideration for the time value of money, the chipping method is almost double the cost of the windrow method. Page | 17
  18. 18. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick Target Area Chipping Option Time = 0 Activity chip, de-stump, de-rock tile drainage tilling, cultivation herbicide (2 applications) cover crop establishment total site preparation rate 35 ha 86.5 acres Windrow Option Time = 0 Activity Windrow tile drainage tilling, cultivation herbicide (2 applications) cover crop establishment total site preparation rate $/acre 2,500.00 1,500.00 55.49 24.28 18.50 4,098.27 Subtotal Establishment Estimate $/acre 83.24 1,500.00 55.49 24.28 18.50 1,681.50 354,500.00 Subtotal Establishment Estimate 145,450.00 road construction 30,000.00 water crossing improvement 20,000.00 gate 5,000.00 Subtotal infrastructure cost 55,000.00 road construction 30,000.00 water crossing improvement 20,000.00 gate 5,000.00 Subtotal infrastructure cost 55,000.00 Total Intial Costs 409,500.00 Total Intial Costs 200,450.00 8,750.00 0.70 6,125.00 13,000.00 Planting Costs 19,125.00 21,312.50 8,750.00 0.70 6,125.00 13,000.00 2,187.50 20,000 4,250 Planting Costs 45,562.50 449,937.50 Three Year Cost 265,137.50 Time = 1 seedling quantity seedling rate cost seedlings planting Time = 2 seedling quantity seedling rate cost seedlings planting Herbicide Tending T1 Seedlings 8,750.00 0.70 6,125.00 13,000.00 Planting Costs Time = 1 seedling quantity seedling rate cost seedlings planting 19,125.00 Time = 2 seedling quantity seedling rate cost seedlings planting Herbicide Tending T1 Seedlings Grind Windrows Cultivate/ establish cover crop, herbicide 8,750.00 0.70 6,125.00 13,000.00 2,187.50 Planting Costs Three Year Cost Page | 18
  19. 19. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick Appendix I The boundary is well marked at the north end of the property. The boundary edge has a thin wooded strip of no more than 15 to 20 metres. The adjacent property is currently fully wooded. A trail is present through this wooded area on the neighbouring property that parallels the property boundary within 50 metres. Image AI.1 displays the northwest corner marker, blazed on a cedar tree. Image AI.2 displays the corner blaze on a spruce located in the southwest corner of the property. Blazed trees continue for a distance along the south boundary from this corner point. Remnants of an old fence line are evident along the south property boundary as noted in image AI.03. In other locations the boundary is evident from the cleared blaze line as displayed in photo AI.04. A sketch of the property and the corner points located, along with selected feature of the property is also included in this appendix. Image AI.01 Northwest corner blaze on cedar tree UTM 19 T 673523 5131271 York Township Greenwood New Brunswick Project Ltd. Image AI.02 Southwest corner blaze on spruce tree UTM 19 T 673645 5131447 York Township Greenwood New Brunswick Project Ltd. Page | 19
  20. 20. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick Image AI.03. Remnant wire fence line along south boundary York Township Greenwood New Brunswick Project Ltd. Image AI.04 Open blaze line evident along the southern boundary York Township Greenwood New Brunswick Project Ltd. Page | 20
  21. 21. Hollands Forestry Consulting Site Plan report for Greenwood New Brunswick Appendix II Page | 21
  22. 22. Hollands Soil Analysis - Sunpoke NB Soil Analysis Results and Recommendations Exchangeable Farm Name: Greenwood Date: Sep. 2008 Soil Analysis % __________________ OM Total N C/N pH Available meq/100g ___________________________ K Ca Mg ppm meq/100g ___________________________ P K K Sample Number 1 2 3 Hollands Sundbury 3 Hollands Sundbury 4,5 Hollands Sundbury 1,2 Recommended Conditions 1.30 2.10 2.30 20.50 26.20 14.80 4.30 4.80 4.70 0.06 0.05 0.06 0.12 0.01 0.20 0.07 0.03 0.08 meq/100g ppm meq/100g meq/100g meq/100g _______________________________________________________________ pH OM CEC P K Ca Mg 5.5+ To convert PPM or meq/100 g to lbs/acre Multiple ppm by 2 meq/100g multiply values of 0.038 0.047 0.090 Ca * 400 Mg * 240 K * 780 No3 * 1240 Na * 460 4.5+ 10.0+ 75-100 0.4 1.5-5.0 0.5-2.0 14.00 5.00 3.00 95.00 122.00 113.00 0.24 0.31 0.29
  23. 23. • v. o± C>­ / - ) I •• , o '. 1 • , , " - • ~ 0 • • ~ ~ i 0 , " ~ • I I J ! U ~s ,~ _ 0 '" ~ "~ , ~ .~! "3! l&i= ~;! ! . <Il .rI j~ ". .~ ~ , , , I"" ,. '" :;. ~.~
  24. 24. Hollands Soil Analysis - Stanley NB Soil Analysis Results and Recommendations Exchangeable Farm Name: Greenwood Date: Sep 2008 Soil Analysis % __________________ OM Total N C/N pH Available meq/100g ___________________________ K Ca Mg ppm meq/100g ___________________________ P K K Sample Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Hollands York 1, 4, 24 Hollands York 2, 3, 5 Hollands York 6, 7, 8 Hollands York 9, 19 Hollands York 20 Hollands York 21, 22, 23 Hollands York 25, 26 Hollands York 27 Hollands York 30, 31 Hollands York 32, 33 Hollands York 34, 35 Hollands York 36, 37 Recommended Conditions 4.10 5.00 5.00 4.60 6.90 5.60 5.50 7.20 19.70 4.40 8.40 6.10 14.50 11.20 24.60 26.30 23.40 26.00 16.10 13.90 15.30 18.80 21.40 16.40 5.50 5.60 4.90 4.60 4.10 4.80 5.60 5.50 5.60 5.00 5.40 4.80 0.07 0.07 0.02 0.02 0.03 0.07 0.10 0.09 0.24 0.05 0.05 0.07 3.70 3.97 0.07 0.17 0.81 0.05 2.83 3.52 10.03 1.33 1.36 1.77 0.23 0.25 0.02 0.05 0.12 0.03 0.21 0.31 0.58 0.08 0.13 0.36 meq/100g ppm meq/100g meq/100g meq/100g _______________________________________________________________ pH OM CEC P K Ca Mg 5.5+ To convert PPM or meq/100 g to lbs/acre Multiple ppm by 2 meq/100g multiply values of 0.163 0.258 0.119 0.102 0.171 0.124 0.198 0.299 0.751 0.136 0.229 0.216 Ca * 400 Mg * 240 K * 780 No3 * 1240 Na * 460 4.5+ 10.0+ 75-100 0.4 1.5-5.0 0.5-2.0 3.00 5.00 1.00 1.00 5.00 5.00 8.00 3.00 5.00 2.00 6.00 4.00 98.00 125.00 52.00 45.00 52.00 76.00 145.00 128.00 238.00 60.00 93.00 88.00 0.25 0.32 0.13 0.12 0.13 0.19 0.37 0.33 0.61 0.15 0.24 0.23
  25. 25. /' o .' } - , ~ . ... -­ -----­ • .­ ,

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