The Acadian forest is a cornerstone of Albert County and beautiful in every season, from the brilliant greens of early spring, to lush, full forests in the summer, and bright red maples in the fall. Primarily composed of birch, maple, balsam fir and spruce, it is often easy to identify (ID) the trees in our forests. In the winter, however, this task becomes more difficult.
The paper birch and striped maple are perhaps the most recognizable tree species in the Acadian forest. The aptly named paper birch has white, papery thin bark that peels in large pieces from the trunk. Its slender trunk that often curves before extending to a narrow, oval-shaped crown. Striped maple have distinct, bright green bark with vertical black stripes. Older striped maple lose the green colour but retain the vertical stripes, setting them apart from other species of maple tree. They also stay quite small, maxing out at about 10m tall and measuring 20cm in diameter.
Yellow birch can grow up to 21m tall and 1m in diameter. When they get this big, their bark loses its papery quality and becomes much hardier, resembling sugar maples and other species of maple that aren’t as recognizable as the striped maple. One surefire way to distinguish an older yellow birch from a maple tree is twig arrangement. Birch trees have alternate twigs, meaning they grow singly from the branch, without another twig opposite it. Maple trees, on the other hand, always have opposite twigs, meaning each twig or leaf has a “twin” on the other side of the branch.
Composed of towering spruce and riddled with gnarly old birch, the Acadian forest is enchanting in every season, providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities and a year-round home to many types of animals in the Fundy region.