‘Huge financial loss’: Nazi maple tree loses half its harvest due to storm FionaNews WAALI

Maple trees on a farm in Nova Scotia took nearly a century to grow, but were decimated within hours during post-tropical storm Fiona. The farm owner says the devastating loss hasn’t even happened yet.

Jason Haverkort, owner of Haveracre Maple Farm in Antigonish, says his farm will take decades to regrow after Storm Fiona tore through the area and downed trees two weeks ago.

Haverkort estimates that about 6,000 of his maple trees have been killed, half of his taphole area.

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“It’s going to be a huge financial loss…I’ll never see that again in my life,” he said.

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Maple trees can only be tapped when fully grown, and the process can take decades.

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“It will take fifty years for the trees to grow back. I will never see exploited territories again.

Haverkort said the loss is unlikely to be fully felt until next spring when he expects a big juice leak and will only see a “dribble”.

He has been in the business for 23 years – he started the business with his family where maple trees grew naturally. Since then, he has been able to enlarge it.

“With the new production methods, we have had very good harvests by producing excess quantities to be able to sell outside the province,” he said.

When news broke that Hurricane Fiona was heading into the Atlantic before developing into a major storm, Haverkort said there wasn’t much preparation.

“There’s nothing you can do but hope for the best,” he said.

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His farm has suffered damage from previous hurricanes and storms, but nothing like this.

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“These seemed to fall in a chain effect… The tops of the trees rested on the roots of those behind.”

Haverkort said staff worked days to clean up the mess, but it would take months to clean up.

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The Nova Scotia Agriculture Association (NSAA) said Antigonish County was one of the hardest hit areas for farmers in the province, with some not even seeing a harvest this year.

“It’s definitely going to put some people out of business,” said NSAA’s Alicia King.

“Some people will think it will be like the last straw with all the cost of inputs that we have had this season before we even harvest some of these crops.”

The province said help is on the way and there will be federal and provincial cost-sharing programs for insurance and income stability.

But even with some government support, Haveracre Farm will take decades to fully recover.

Farmer Haverkort hopes for compensation for lost trees. “I don’t know what’s going on in the pipeline yet,” he said.

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“[It’s]a huge financial loss, not just for a year, but for the rest of my life.

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