Reforesters Update – 5/31/21

Here’s another chapter in the West Power Line Corridor tree saga, starring me and my husband. We arrived at the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust about 8 AM today, ready to work. After two days of cold and rain, the weather had broken and the day promised to get sunny and warm. We thought it would be a good time to visit our trees and do some more work.

Here’s a view from the top of our plot. As you can see, there is a lot of green, but it’s not bad green. In this area here, we’ve gotten the invasives pretty much under control – not too hard since the larger trees shade the area well and the invasives are looking for sunny spots. These are just weeds.

We set our work bag in the middle of the plot (the blue blob you see). We have a bag of pruners, goggles, hats, gloves, and other items we need out here, and the blue color helps up find our way back to the bag no matter where we set it. My husband is walking up the hill coming toward the bag.

If you turn and look the other way – that’s the PERT office. I told you we were not far into the park at all. And as I also told you, it’s nice to be so close to the bathrooms and our car if we need anything. Luxury!

Since it is the end of the month we will be making our report, so we planned to count trees. I am sorry to report that we still do not have a good count. We keep finding new ones, or we get confused in the ins and outs of our plot, which still has a lot of overgrown areas.

We did find a couple of small volunteer trees, a maple and two sassafras, and we marked them with pink tape. Maybe you’ll have to take my word for it but there is a tiny tree tagged pink in there.

There is also poison ivy. I left the area quickly – you may remember my epic case from a couple of years ago and now I am very respectful of it.

After counting trees, we gotto work clearing invasives. Last time I removed a lot of wild rosebushes and wineberries from the area where I started to work on today – I wanted to get another section removed.

Now, this picture does not look that exciting, but I took out a solid block of thicket from in front of that large spicebush. You can see it now – before it was part of a large green mound, with vines snaking up it. Spicebush is not a tree, but this one is as large as a tree and can provide shade – so it has a place in the scheme here. I was happy to make its life a bit easier.

And here is a wider view, showing today’s work on the left and last session’s work on the right.

My next target – this area to the left of what I cleared today, which you see I have squarely in my sights in this photo…

How about a closer view of my enemy?

In our work today we found another tree site. No, you are not wrong, there is no tree here – it was completely buried inside some of this overgrowth and died. The sight reminded us of why we are here – to keep the trees from being swallowed up like this one. It was of course quite dead. The invasives grow much faster than the small trees and they have no chance if they are not protected. It’s not like in a forest, where the larger trees keep the invasive growth down.

Well, that’s the story for today. I know that these photos seem to repeat the same thing, week after week – a sea of green. It’s hard to tell how things are going. Take it from us, we are making progress. We have cleared about 30 trees and continue to keep them free of invasives, and we have removed a lot of wild roses and wineberries and today, even some wild raspberries.

Maria Paula, who is in charge of this project at the PERT, is going to be evaluating our area, along with all the others, for possible tree plantings in October. I hope that we will qualify for some new trees. I think that would be fantastic.

Until next time!

About Claudia McGill

A person who does art and writes poetry. That's me!

5 responses to “Reforesters Update – 5/31/21

  1. I can definitely see the progress you are making. I don’t have a trained eye for such things so cannot detect the difference between the plants you are saving and the ones you are removing but what I can see if the clearing of those spaces. I am impressed by your knowledge of plants. I find plant identification to be very challenging.

    • Thank you. Sometimes I feel like it is an endless sea of green, the photos don’t show it well, but we really are getting somewhere. As for plan ID, I have a friend who is very knowledgeable and she helps me out, plus, the bad plants we are seeing are sadly very prevalent so their appearances are drilled into my mind! Except for poison ivy that I still have trouble identifying, but also, it does not always look the same in all its manifestations. I remember what my friend told me as to the vine “hairy is scary” (they have hairy fibrousy vines) and of course, “leaves of three, let it be”.

  2. I love how green it is now. (K)

  3. Pingback: Reforesters Update 7/4/21 | Sometimes You Get So Confused

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