John M. Carr
After a long, hot, wet summer, things are beginning to fall into place (pun intended). The summer has been spent collecting data, locating items of interest to the renovation, and putting all of the above into a program that can be scheduled for the next six months to a year. The site of the program is about 60 acres starting at Jasmine and wandering south. The site was determined by soil salinity and moisture, species present, current pioneer regrowth, and new plant compatibility.
Comments: The FDOT has selected engineering firms, and will select contractors based on knowledge and past performance in similar circumstances. The plan appears to be proper in site selection, species selection, and operational considerations. The plan has been reviewed by outside experts to prevent incorrect steps being made in the processes. The proof will be in a couple of years. Note that the surveys done earlier this year had many positive comments on the return of the Red Maples by natural means. Of course these plans are subject to modification as the work progresses. The plan also calls for follow-up checks on plantings and invasives to be sure things are progressing as desired. A full list of project activities as well as species to be planted is available on the internet www.eganscreek.org
The program has been distilled to a three phase operation:
Phase One – Standing dead trees – between 700 and 800 snags (standing dead trees) were located, checked for soundness, checked for wildlife activity, and entered into a data base. The result was about 600 of the dead trees will be cut down. The cutting will be done by going to each tree previously identified and locating and felling the tree with a chainsaw. To minimize site damage, the sawyer and his locator will walk to each tree. The only large equipment will be the equipment used to cross the creeks. The locator will confirm that the tree is the correct one and the sawyer will fell it on the ground and confirm no dangerous conditions are left. Stumps should be less than 1 foot high. Date to completion is projected to be late November 2012
Phase Three – After the completion of the invasive phase, the replanting will begin. To minimize the site damage from the planting operation, the size of the planting stock will be reduced. Again this will allow hand carry and plant at predetermined locations on the site. The locations have been selected for soil type, moisture, and salinity. It is very labor intensive to minimize damage to the site. Completion is scheduled for about April of 2013.
Phase Two – After the felling operation is completed, the next step will be to address the invasives that have been identified and located. There are three types of invasives that count for almost all of the species present on the 60 acres. They are Chinese Tallow, Chinaberry, and Spanish Rattlebox. In the approximate 60 acre site there are about 2,800 sites identified. Like the felling operation in Phase One, these will be treated according to size, location, and density. In all cases, the operation will be done during non-seed-producing times. Trees larger than 6 inches, about 300, will be felled in place and stump treated. Smaller plants will be will basal treated and left standing. None of the invasives will be moved before or after treatment to prevent spreading. This part of the program will continue to carry forward in time. Longer term control of invasives will require reaching out into other areas of the greenway to try to eliminate possible host plants that could cause regeneration after previously successful treatments. This will become an on-going program that will have to be supported by both the City and County far into the future. Projecting completion of this initial step in January of 2013.
September 26, 2012 1:02 p.m.
September 26, 2012