Tom's Blog

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Still time for some late winter brush work

Winter seems to keep hanging on this year, which is bad for burns but good for brush work. Yesterday a group of Madison Audubon volunteers worked at Arlington Prairie, a small but high quality remnant in the Goose Pond area.

The photo shows Mark cutting a gray dogwood clone and Susan (plus others out of the photo) following along after and treating all the cut stems with Garlon.

The Stihl brush cutter is the ideal way of handling this sort of small brush. In addition to gray dogwood, there was honeysuckle, wild plum, and hawthorne. Most of the brush was small.

This 5 acre prairie remnant, completely surrounded by ag fields, was too rocky to plow and too small to graze, and hence remained intact. It has a lot of fine prairie species, including large populations of prairie dropseed, rough blazing star, silky aster, rattlesnake master, and the colorful downy gentian. Also present is a small population of Prenanthes racemosa, a relatively rare, high C-value plant (C = 9).

The day started cold but warmed up to the low 30s by lunch time. Fortunately, we were on the south side of the ridge and the wind was out of the north.


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