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Old 06-22-2010, 11:36 PM   #11
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raven Climax Forest with Chestnuts and Oak

That would sure act as a Deer Den and maybe with full shade and a massive network of roots nothing can get a foothold. As you know ferns aren't really a deers favorite food. Are you seeing oak and chesnut seedlings in the area? It would signal that there is enough light for plant growth. We have the same problem in metro detroit, Lots of parks with the bio-diversity starting at 10 feet above the ground. You could always talk to the conservancy and see if they are willing to fence off an area for a native planting of milkweed. If you focus on the edge you will have more success. Thats what they did here in the paintcreek area to help restore the oak savanna. This was a Riparin with Prarie spreading up to the higher land and really has helped the wildlife other than deer,,,Oh and this county[Oakland] has the highest number of deer / car collisions in the state. Of course most collisions are in the rut season and the police drag the carcass to the ditches where they are left for turkey vultures which come back in april. The state even puts off cutting the shoulder till late june so grass nesting birds have a chance.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:29 AM   #12
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"the police drag the carcass to the ditches where they are left for turkey vultures which come back in april." I'm jealous. Animal control comes around and "tidies" up our road kills.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:15 PM   #13
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Alright the trees are fairly big and tall. I'd say a couple are beyond 60 feet high. The trouble is all the highland forest has little if anything growing down below. There are saplings to sassafras, oaks, chestnut, and a hand full of things I can't ID growing. Very few pines but that's not necessarily a problem. A number of huge trees fall over regularly and the forest seems able to repair itself in those areas.

But there is such a disconnect when you get down to where the water is, and lowland areas next to the forest edge. The only real under story herbicides perennials are Ferns.

I am warming up to the place as seen in my next post.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:19 PM   #14
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I found 2 patches of Indian Pipe (or that smaller species of Indian Pipe that's int he same genus).

I found a single buttonbush too. I walked the entire water way and only found a one plant! How does that happen?
YouTube - Buttonbush Buzzing
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:24 PM   #15
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There was also a single patch of some type of low growing ... ground cover? Looks like it produces berries and is related to wintergreen or something like that.

There was also a single patch of some odd plant. As far as I could make out the entire plant was one orange tendril like silly string. Would that be a fungus? There didn't look like any leaves or anything there.

So there are neat and unique things happening in this forest but they're few and far between. Even the steep hillsides don't have anything special growing on them.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrILoveTheAnts View Post

There was also a single patch of some odd plant. As far as I could make out the entire plant was one orange tendril like silly string. Would that be a fungus? There didn't look like any leaves or anything there.
...
I think you are describing a parasitic plant called dodder (Cuscuta sp.). The first (and maybe only time) I saw it was in a park--if memory services it was in a patch of jewelweed/touch-me-nots.

(I had to look it up for the genus name.)
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:14 PM   #17
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Did you see Amelanchier's feature on earthworms? I wonder if you are seeing an instance of earthwork damage in that woodland.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:25 PM   #18
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When are you going to start making your syrups for invasives, Calliandra? You'll make a fortune.
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