AFR September 2015 Letters

AFR: My name is Stéphane Pelletier and I live in St-Eusébe, Quebec, 30 minutes west of Edmundston, N.B. The pictures I send are from Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac. It use to be called Cabano and Notre-Dame-du-Lac. The pictures are from Notre-Dame-du-Lac. They are pics of a Deltoid poplar or cottonwood, from the poplar and aspen family.

    That tree is about 90 years old and about 96 feet high and almost 21 feet in diameter. As you can see in the pictures, this is a huge specimen. In one of the pics I am joining hands with my two kids, and we made about half of the poplar’s circumference. It would take three more people to get all the way around.

    The Deltoid poplar is used in pulp and paper for cardboard. It is also used for flake board, lumber, and even bows for gift wrapping presents. The cottonwood usually doesn’t grow naturally in eastern Quebec or western New Brunswick. The Deltoid poplar in Témiscouata was planted from a government program for improvement of small communities way back in the 1950s. This amazing eastern giant is located at the marina entry road in Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, in Notre Dame.

Stéphane Pelletier

St-Eusébe, QC

(Thanks for the note and the photo, Stéphane. Reading about that giant in Notre Dame prompted me to take a virtual tour of big cottonwoods, including one in Balmville, New York, dating to 1699 based on core samples, that was just cut down on Aug 5. It had received structural support from guy wires, and historical designation from the government – making it the smallest state forest in New York – but had deteriorated badly and was finally deemed too much of a safety risk. 

    Your timing is perfect, since David Palmer, AFR’s field editor, is rolling out our Great Tree Challenge on pg. 48 of this issue. We look forward to receiving more submissions.  DL)