Tom's Blog

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nice day for killing sumac etc.

We had a nice day at Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie killing sumac. Five volunteers spent three hours. Now that most of the clones have been knocked back, we are relying on basal bark treatment with Garlon 4 in oil. No need to cut anything.

Kathie came up with a neat method for keeping track of who was working where. The upper part of each stem to be treated is bent at right angles, and then its base sprayed (using a hand spray bottle). The next person along will immediately know that that stem has been treated. Another advantage: If the stem is already dead, it will snap easily and the inside will not be green, indicating that that stem does not need to be treated.

We'll keep doing sumac (on volunteer work parties and with our Savanna Oak Foundation crew) from now until the snow comes. If there is no snow, we'll keep going all winter (or until all the sumac is treated). We know that next spring we will have to spray the new sumac root suckers that have arisen from the extensive rhizome network. We are planning on eradicating sumac at this prairie via a three-year project.

In addition to sumac, we also treated the scattered buckthorns and honeysuckles. There are really not too many of these left.

Also, we basal barked every grape vine we found. Grab a part of the vine, and then walk back toward the center of the colony while pulling on the stem. Spray all the stems arising from that colony. This works fairly well, although some of the vines are 10-15 feet long!

We ended the day with 20 minutes of seed collecting (heath aster, the last species of the year).

The weather was sunny and reasonably warm. Coats came off quickly.


Blogger Susan said...

Marci invented the technique of bending sumac stems to mark their treatment.

November 12, 2010 at 6:15 AM  

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