Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rose Area - Post Mow

Mowing the rose area this year was nothing like the terror of last year.  I never had to use the reverse gear on the mower and I only suffered a single scratch.  I really enjoy viewing this scene without rose bushes.  There are still a few roses in the flanking tree lines that I’ll work on cutting through the winter.

The sparseness of red flags indicates that very few roses survived from last year’s efforts.  I only marked six live bushes in the former rose thicket.  I’m still amazed at the success of this project. 

  The incidence of rose bushes was higher in the neighboring field.  The entire number of marked bushes was just around two dozen, so treatment next spring should be fairly easy.

The Indian Grass was in perfect condition for mowing.  When the stalk has dried, it is easily cut and chopped by the mower.  This allows the cut material to be more uniformly spread.  It’s also easiest to mow when the stalks are still standing upright.

A cut cedar showing green growth will soon return as a tall, thick bush.  It’s hard to spot some of the smaller cedars hidden in the Indian Grass, so it’s important to watch for the bright green patch that indicates a young cedar stump.

It adds to the mowing time, but it’s important to take the time to clip these little cedar bases.  The cedar won’t die on its own and will require even more time to remove later on.

Dried Goldenrod stalks easily break up and disappear into the stubble.  A scattering of young Winged Sumacs were cut, but the large specimens were left.  Their fruits have all dried and are hanging in tight clusters for use by the birds if needed later in the winter.

The Allegheny Mound Ants had just one mound in this field.  The mounds are much more common on higher ground where the soils are drier and more easily drained.

I’ll continue my mowing efforts further into the field to the extent of the Indian Grass stand.  The area beyond these cedars has never been mowed by me, but evidence of Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose growth now makes it necessary.

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