Crow’s Nest: Stewardship Showcase on Sunday!

November 9, 2018

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Quick quiz: Is it time to remove the tree shelter on the oak tree above? This is a question we will discuss on Sunday as we walk around Crow’s Nest Preserve talking about land stewardship (or scroll down to read my answer).

Sunday’s Stewardship Showcase is an opportunity to get an insider’s view of how we manage the resources at our preserves, from employing a hazard tree management database to prescribed grazing to invasive plant management. We’ll cover the theory behind the native plant landscaping around preserve buildings and review some of the “Practical Stewardship Notes” that appeared on this blog between 2006 and 2010 (no longer archived here, so perhaps time to revisit this subject).


Photo: Daniel Barringer

Speaking of prescribed grazing, this week we moved the steers to their winter pasture (above). It’s a short walk down a chute we create with temporary, step-in fence posts and electric string. We have moved them without that before, but let’s just say, with age comes wisdom. I try to take a photo of each move so that I have a record of when we moved them. Here the calves were excited to follow Aubrey and the sweet feed so I didn’t have much to do until it was time to take the fence down again.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

In the above photo our Teen Naturalists are helping out with cleaning up an ash tree I took down as a demonstration of tree felling technique. This is one of 200 ash trees identified as needing to be removed on the preserve (that is, when they inevitably die from the Emerald Ash Borer, there is a target that we don’t want them to hit). We want to manage the “where and when” they fall, so we take them down using professional logging techniques learned in the Game of Logging training—or for some we contract with a professional arborist. We’re more than half way finished these ash tree removals which we are doing in addition to our usual hazard tree evaluation and removal.

As far as the tree tube above? I believe that we shouldn’t engage in any more intervention than is required to achieve the desired results, so the tube that protects the sapling from the deer shouldn’t be left on any longer than necessary to get it beyond the deer browse and buck-rubbing stage. This tree hasn’t quite filled the tube at the top, but it definitely was close at the bottom, and moreover, these tree shelters tend also to shelter mice (this one was) and the mice chew on the bark and girdle many of the trees. So yes, it was time to remove this tree tube.

See you Sunday!