CBC P.E.I.'s Leaf Relief gives away hundreds of trees

Prince Edward Islanders were up early Thursday morning and lining up at the Charlottetown Farmers Market to replace trees lost in post-tropical storm Dorian.

Dorian tore up trees across P.E.I. when it struck the Island in the first weekend in September.

CBC P.E.I. offered Leaf Relief in partnership with the provincial forest, fish and wildlife division — Over 1000 white spruce, eastern larch, red maple and yellow birch were provided free to the public to replace trees lost on their properties.

Michelle Cottreau of Charlottetown expected to beat the crowds when she showed up at the market at 6 a.m., just as Island Morning was getting started. Turned out she was number 80 in the queue.

She spoke to Island Morning co-host Laura Chapin while she waited for her tree. She was looking to replace a flowering catalpa that had a lot of sentimental value. They had several large catalpa on an Ontario property before they moved back to P.E.I. 15 years ago.

"When we decided to move home my mom had taken one of the seed pods from our house in Ontario and come and grown the tree from seed, and then when we built our home here we planted it," said Cottreau.

"We lost it in Dorian."

About half the tree came down, she said, and the other half is not expected to survive the damage. She is picking a red maple to replace it. She said there is a corner in the back of their property where it will have plenty of room to grow.

Debbie Lawless lost 15 trees on her property, but thankfully avoided any damage to her home.

It was a big mess, she said, but it wasn't all bad.

"It was good bonding time for my kids and I and my husband because most of them were out with us cleaning up the yard," she said.

Lawless picked up a red oak to start repopulating their yard.

100 red oak

It was not just people looking for trees up early and at the market Thursday.

Kevin Garvey, production manager at Arbour Nursery in Earnscliffe, said when his company heard about Leaf Relief it wanted to help out. Garvey brought 100 red oak to add to the hundred of trees provided by the provincial government.

Cody MacKay/CBC

"It's the provincial tree," said Garvey.

"It's also a very strong tree, a long-living tree, beautiful fall colour, and also it creates a great habitat for wildlife, providing acorns."


After the show, the Island Morning crew moved to Summerside to give away trees at Credit Union Place. There were also trees available at Kaylee Hall in Pooles Corner and W. Ralph McLellan Sports Centre in Richmond.

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