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Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday's Frivolous Fen Frolicks

Actually today we are not Frolicking on the Fen. A half inch of rain overnight has caused us to take a long weekend. And speaking for myself, it is a welcome occurrence. Some of you may be wondering about this covert organization i mention now and then, Master Naturalists. First, to dispel all rumors, we are NOT a group who loves cavorting through the woods nekid.... in fact the mear thoughts of that nature could cause neurological paralysis and instant blindness.
We are a cadre of trained volunteers that are able to assist the public with questions, projects, and education relating to the local environment where we live. That said, you may wonder if we are 'tree huggers'?  Well, sort of. BUT there is a definite apprenticeship to be a tree hugger. 

This is Amanda. Next to her is a Morella cerifera or Wax Myrtle shrub. Apprentices start by planting shrubs. They are the folks who yesterday were following the shrub droppers. After a sufficiently long period of 'Shrub Cuddling', you may graduate to 'Tree Hugging'. BUT you have to maintain a certain number of hours per year hugging to be a 'Certified Tree Hugger'.  Someone told me that makes us 'Certifiable'. I'm not sure if they were to be believed since they were holding a bunch of 'used teabags'.

As of yesterday at noon, all 3550 Wax Myrtles had been planted. Not bad for 2.5 days work by a lot of very dedicated volunteers (and there wasn't even free lunch involved, just snacks). 

So what happened to those 90 Willow Oaks that were delivered. Well they are getting planted. 41 got planted yesterday, which was more of an experimental day to see what would be the best planting method. The remaining 410 will be planted over the next three weeks.

 To the right is the awlgar that drills the hole for the rootball. And below is the Bobcat that spins the awlgar. This is truly a 'blessed event'. Fr. Richard has really made our fields 'holey'.



Over the years we have devised (correction, Richard has devised) a simple method of getting the trees from where they are delivers to the holes.
First, the bottom wire bands that hold the root ball together are removed. Next the tree is lifted by tractor and placed on the trailer, where they are neatly stacked three in a row by Michael. Then they are towed out to the field by tractor this year since we have one capable of the task.

Next, if you notice the reddish crane on the back of the trailer, we use that to lift the rootball off the trailer, swing it over the hole, lower it half way into the hole, the rest of the wire basket is cut, and in the hole it goes.




Lastly, the excess burlap is pushed down, Soil is packed into the sides of the hole, and on to the next hole. If all things go right this operation takes 7-10 minutes per tree. Moving to the next hole usually takes another 3-5 minutes depending on location. So even at the longest, we can plant a tree every 15 minutes and on average every 10 minutes. Here are pics of the final operation.



























Tomorrow is back to the Historic Onley Train Station. For that update you will have to visit Possum at http://onley-spots.blogspot.com/

Grenville

14 comments:

Country Gal said...

We have a few groups here in the area lol and in our photography club ! But I did get a good chuckle as how you wrote what type of Naturalists you are and are not lol ! I think its great what you all do lots of hard work but well worth it ! Great photos and post ! Have a good day !

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

Really interesting!
I don't know if we have any projects similar to Yours here in this country. The only thing I've ever heard of is planting a special grass on sandy areas close to the ocean to stop the erosion but that was long ago.

Have a great day!
Christer.

L. D. Burgus said...

That is so great that you can have groups to do that. The area will be beautiful in a couple of years. Looks like it is hard work.

Montanagirl said...

Terrific photos and post! Lots of hard work involved.

Cicero Sings said...

What a lot of WORK! Glad you have some equipment and some wonderful volunteers.

Cicero Sings said...

What a lot of WORK! Glad you have some equipment and some wonderful volunteers.

Ginnie said...

That's doing really great work. I was interesting in your writeup and photos on planting.

possum said...

SPOTS update will be posted after the work on the north end is finished tomorrow...

Anvilcloud said...

Holey moley.

Elaine said...

Looks like your group has a really efficient operation worked out. All that hard work will really pay dividends in the future.

Country Mouse Studio said...

Amazing and thanks for the explanation. Love the humor too :O)

Eggs In My Pocket said...

It is a lot of work but so well worth it........especially years down the road for the future generation!

A Quiet Corner said...

Nothing like good clean fresh air and spending time with nature!...:)JP

Honest Abe said...

These photos bring on more questions. I am not being nosy. That many trees of the same species in one field makes me think of a nursery. I can't imagine where they are planted and if they are all your plants?

I love to plant trees. Or did. I can no longer do it. So I nurse, along, species like silver maple if they sprout in the right places.

Can you imagine? A squirrel could get into a tree along the east coast of America and never come down out of the tree canopy and travel all the way to the Mississippi River. That was some forest and it was filled with wildlife including the Woods Buffalo.

Not that way these days. We have done ages of damage to this planet so the only way to help it recover is to plant that forest again and again and stop selling forests on the West Coast to Japan.

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