Tom's Blog

Friday, September 17, 2010

Seed collecting; woodland Joe Pye



Yesterday I spent an hour or so collecting woodland Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum). This species is relatively similar to the wetland Joe Pye weed (E. maculatum), but less colorful and better adapted to woodland areas. It is a strikingly tall species that has become established in those parts of our savannas which have more closed canopy (50% or even a bit more).

The best stands of E. purpureum are north of our North Fire Break, just before the steep drop off into the oak woodland. I used the Kawasaki Mule to get in there, and it was an enjoyable day, quiet and peaceful. I got two buckets full of seed heads.

Although the flower heads seem fairly dry, they still need to be dried a few days by spreading them out on a tarp. Once dry, the seeds must be cleaned before using. It is fairly easy to clean the seeds. Just put the flower heads on top of a piece of fairly course screening (available from a hardware store) and scrape them back and forth. The seeds fall through, and the empty stems can be thrown away. Store the seeds in a dry place in a grocery bag until time to plant.

While I was seed collecting, I was also keeping my eye out for small buckthorn that needed spritzing or basal barking. Fortunately, the buckthorns were fairly scattered here, and I proably only treated a couple dozen plants. I carried a spray bottle in my belt pack. We'll be back in this area in the winter for more extensive buckthorn work. Hopefully, this will be a low snow year so that we can get some work done!

1 Comments:

Blogger Jon Brouchoud said...

Does Joe Pye seed need to be processed or cleaned in any way before spreading it in fall/winter? Or can it be seeded as-is?

September 18, 2010 at 2:39 AM  

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