This retired Islander has a big Dorian mess on his hands

A landowner in Kensington has a big job on his hands, after the province told him it's too busy to help with clean up of his Dorian-damaged trees.

Ron Doyle estimates he lost more than 200 big, old hardwoods in the post-tropical storm that hit the Island Sept. 7. Some of the trees, growing just metres from his house, are still teetering with damaged and dangling limbs.

Doyle says he has called the provincial government several times, to take advantage of the offer to help homeowners remove storm-damaged trees.

"They basically said they were doing small jobs for people and our job would be just too much," said Doyle.

Doyle, 67, says he's got a bad back and other health problems. Stacks of sawn logs behind his house show where he's managed to cut and pile some of the fallen timber. About half of his four-hectare property is forested in mature hardwoods. For now, he and his wife are avoiding the deep woods when they walk their dog on their rural homestead.

"It's too dangerous to walk inside the forest until it's cleaned," said Doyle.

Hurricane Dorian hit with deadly force in the Caribbean and continued to pack a devastating punch when it arrived in the Maritimes as a post-tropical storm.

Brian Higgins/CBC

On the Island, there's still plenty of work to be done, according to the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

"We are still working our way through priority tree removal before the snow flies," said a spokesperson for the department in an email to CBC News.

"Essentially trees that are in the way of people's day-to-day lives — front yards, curbs, driveways, ditches, and people in greatest need of help."

As of late last week, the province had received 141 requests for help in Kings County, 191 from Queens County, and over 300 in Prince County, according to spokesperson. Crews have completed work at about 75 per cent of those properties.

The province did not comment on Doyle's request specifically.

Brian Higgins/CBC

Earlier this year, Doyle planted thousands of spruce seedlings on the open fields on his property, having purchased the stock from the province's forestry division. He now intends to start planting hardwoods, too. 

"I just want the trees to be here, to grow beautiful, to look healthy," said Doyle. "For people to enjoy for many years."

Doyle is looking at other sources of help, including the province's Dorian financial assistance program, administered by the Canadian Red Cross.

Hundreds of Islanders have registered for that program, according to the Red Cross, as the Nov. 29 registration deadline approaches.

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