TheLorax
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Guess what I did today?

I took a sidetrip and participated in a two-person plant rescue!

I have a good working relationship with some local developers. One in particular has a girlfriend who likes native plants. His girlfriend is sort of fru fru... she loves to be politically correct in social circles by being able to chat about using natives but her pretty finger nails prohibit her from actually digging them up or transplanting them. When I learned of her love for native plants, I offered to go over to one of his properties to see if there was anything she'd like. He gave me the address and I went over and e-mailed photos to them of what I found with identifications and where they would work best in their landscape. They asked me if there was anything I wanted over at the property. There were a few plants that interested me. They told me to please go and get the plants that I wanted and if it wouldn't be too much trouble... would I please dig up a few for the little woman. Of course that was fine. Later on they learned I was a member of a native plant society that has members who volunteer digging up plants to transplant on public lands. Some of this man's properties are so large that not only are there plenty of plants to dig up to transplant but there are plenty of plants for the volunteers to take home to use in their own landscapes. So there's the history on how I get advance notice from this particular developer. His girlfriend gives me a list of plants to look for and if they're there, I dig them up for her and in the process I can take as much as what I want from any area that won't be open space.

The property we went to today is slated to become single family residences, townhomes, condos, several playgrounds, outdoor activity areas with a central pool, and an "L" shaped strip mall. There will be no open space.

I don't normally find anything I am interested in at plant rescues but today I found two sedges that are of particular interest to me. One I can't identify but I've got a little voice that tells me it's desirable.

I also dug up some Osmorhiza claytoni (Sweet Cicely), and Thalictrum thalictroides (Rue Anemone) as well as a few misceallaneous.

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NEWisc
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Location: WI z4

It's always enjoyable to read about the efforts of individuals and organizations that try to reduce our often negative impact on the environment. Plant rescues are one of the ways that we can mitigate some of the damage from development. If that effort can be tied to a restoration project, so much the better.

But even without a restoration project component, plant rescues are an effective hands on way to introduce people to native plants. Just the concept itself demonstrates that there is something of value here. It’s an opportunity to discuss the value of native plants to our environment; to observe and teach about the relationships that exist among the local flora and fauna. An opportunity to show what these plants look like, where they grow, what kind of habitat they need. Since rescuing them necessarily involves digging them up, the individual plants can be studied in detail. It’s not often that you get to look at the “roots and allâ€
.
Age is a biological fact.
Old is a state of mind.
I will age, but I refuse to get old.

koonaone
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Location: Lillooet - HighBar - Cariboo, BC - Bioregions of Corrdilera

Very admirable endeavour Lorax. It put my cogs to work on possible candidates for rescue around here. Good work.

I wondered if you keep searchable records of your transplants, like Species characteristics, site particulars (grad, aspect, elev, slope position, soil char) success ratios, etc? You sound fairly young and might not value records you can refer back to as much as you likely will in years to come.

NEWisc's comments Re: roots is what made me think of it.

douglas

NewjerseyTea
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Location: Piedmont Area, Northern NJ

I missed this post entirely Lorax. I'm sorry about the housing development and strip mall (like we really need more strip malls, personal opinion) with the total loss of open space.
The rue anemone is one of my favorites. Good save and great contacts. Keep it up!

TheLorax
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Hi koonaone!

Yup, I'm younger now than I was on my 30th, 40th, and even on my 50th birthday ;)

The Rue Anemone was short lived here. I planted it and a girlfriend who had none dug it up and took it home to plant at her place. Easy come, easy go. It's ok though, I already had some here and she had none and those plants I dug up and transplanted here were mature specimens so she'll be able to collect seed from them. I saw her eyeballing my woodland Carex spp. from that same property and I slapped her hand and told her to not even look at those! She giggled and said I shouldn't blame a gal for trying.

Regarding documentation maintained if I am actually keeping something I dug up:
- The obvious of state, county, and city complete with GPS coordinates
- Genus and species
- Photos of the site and specific areas from which the plants were removed
- Brief description of the soil moisture
- Exposure where found
- Wetland codes pursuant to the Natl Wetland Categories for Region 3
- GPS coordinates of where I transplant them or the name and contact information of who they were given to.

If I am just slave labor for the day, I don't bother keeping any documentation. The person in charge will.

Reason for good solid notes for me personally is to be able to document the source of the plants in the event somebody needs local genotype. My personal notes from plant rescues are never searchable. I only share them when there is a need. Location data is not something to screw with disclosing. Too many field collectors out there who would think nothing of trespassing on private property to bag plants. If I am propagating a threatened or an endangered species, I turn my personal notes over to the entity that asked me to try to germinate a protected species when I turn the seedlings over to them. Maintaining the information becomes their problem. There have been times I've been given seed to germinate and I don't even know where it came from. Details such as that simply aren't necessary most of the time.

The vast majority of plant rescues don't have anything I'd be interested in transplanting over here. I'm not exactly a prairie person... yet.

Hi NJT!

I agree with your personal opinion. I see no further need for urban sprawl in any form at this phase in my life. Build up, not out.

Yes, that particular contact is great. He generally only has prairie species but this time he had some woodland species which I am always interested in. I can't tell you how many gardeners have gotten their start because of this man. Some of the snakes I have here are from his properties. I toss them in pillow cases and take them home. I'll also take other herps I find home too. Not bullfrogs though. I think over the course of my relationship with him, I've taken home more herps for myself personally than plants and that's not saying much. Funny story about that. I drove some plants over to his girlfriend and while we were unloading her "goodies" she grabbed the pillow case I had on the floor behind the driver's seat of my car. We normally dig up and bag the plants using what's available so a pillow case wouldn't be out of the ordinary. I winked at her and told her that was the only "thing" I had taken for myself but that she could have it if she wanted if she promised me she'd ditch her lawn service. I've been teasing her about her lawnservice for a while. She thought about it and put it back then asked what kind of plant it was. When I told her it was a snake her lip curled up a little bit and she stepped back from the car. Ten to one odds she went in her house and sprayed her hand with Lysol. She's actually a nice lady now that I've gotten to know her a little bit. She's just into a different style of gardening than me.

koonaone
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Location: Lillooet - HighBar - Cariboo, BC - Bioregions of Corrdilera

Sorry Lorax, I didn't mean a publicly searchable data, though with actual co-ordinates deleted it would be a service to science.

My bag is site analysis using Bio (plants, soil orgs), Geo, Climatic, parameters. Geo changes but slowly, climate more rapidly than we think, and plant life responds.

Wild Seed biology is progressing nicely in recent times but site level prediction is less advanced. It seems to me that someone like you could condense some of the "art" of what you do and meld it with a little quantification, and come up with something very valuable.

a kindred spirit you might like: "Highlands of Missouri" https://www.allisonjvaughn.blogspot.com/

Anyway keep up the good work.

douglas

long live "little brother"

TheLorax
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Goodness gracious, no need to apologize. You and me are coming from different scientific disciplines that's all. They mesh. My bag is biodiversity. What are we losing to extinction each day? 50 of the earth's ten million plus species? Yes, I am very well aware that's a conservative estimate. Regardless; there are those who would say no worries, those casualties are a mere drop in the bucket at only an annual loss of .2% of our earth's species yet I believe that by attempting to save indigenous species we're probably saving our own hide. We humans really are integral components of the ecosystems we're destroying and some simply don't seem to understand we require the very same habitat requirements of food, water, cover, places to raise young, and sustainable gardening practices just like any other animal.

That being said, I'm more interested in the natural community of fauna which doesn't appear to be responding all that well to environmental stresses and change as well as flora. Who else would walk off with a snake in a bag as opposed to walking off with bagfuls of free native prairie plants?

Must bookmark and go back to that blog. I was with an entire group of wholesome people like her for the better part of the day. Thoroughly enjoyed her comments from Sunday, October 29, 2006 Growing native.

NewjerseyTea
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:14 am
Location: Piedmont Area, Northern NJ

Great Snake story.



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