Tom's Blog

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Finished up the sumac clones

We had two beautiful field days and finished up all the sumac clones that we had located last fall. In addition to our regular crew, volunteer David Fisher did yeoman work. Most of the work was on the south-facing slope, which is increasingly steep the farther up you go.

We used Garlon as a basal bark. The diluent is bark oil, and a red dye was added. This system really works well, and the treated clones stood out, making it easy to traverse the area.

In addition to sumac, we also treated blackberry and black raspberry, walnut resprouts, forests of small buckthorn, and the occasional honeysuckle (very few).

The bramble treatment went very well and I am now convinced that basal bark is the most convenient way of dealing with them. This time of year, that is. Everything else is brown, and the red stems of the brambles really stand out. No leaves to worry about.

Unfortunately, red raspberries are difficult to handle this way. This fiercely clonal species grows with dozens of closely spaced stems, making it difficult to get the sprayer nozzle down where it is needed. We will have to deal with red raspberries by foliar spray, as we did last year. For details, see my May 20, 2008 post.


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