Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Summer of our discontent
Die, Monster, Die
The large invasive have their purpose; they provide canopy in the hot summer, and habitat until the conifers are able to make a canopy of their own. They have crowded out the native maples and cedars, the understory natives as well have suffered from the aggressive holly and laurel, and the blackberry has suffocated all the varieties of groundcover that a healthy forest has. Now the time has come when the plants are at maximum photosyntheses production, when they are drawing water from the soil and pushing it out to the leaves, when the leaves send sugars down to the roots. A technique of poisoning the trees is to drive copper nails into the cambial layer, sending oxidizing metal into the leaves, in this case I am drilling through the tree, and putting copper wire into the hole, an experiment for the summer.
The trees are leafed out as full as they will become this year, a deep canopy of broadleaf maple and indian plum keeps the tender hemlock and cedar saplings cool and wet for now. Parts of the seep are drying into hard concrete consistency, the open canopy in the middle of the site is cleared now and the sun is sapping the moisture from the soil, making it necessary to get a good layer of mulch over any bare ground exposed from removing ivy and blackberry. Pockets of oregon grape, thimble berry, cascara and hazlenut are scattered around the clearing. The plants have been ordered for fall, now we weed and wait.