Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thistle Clipping 2010

Last year volunteers clipped 2 heaping pickup loads of Canada thistle along the beaver dam while the plants were flowering. The idea was to remove the plant while all of it's energy was devoted to flowering but not to stimulate the roots to end up new shoots. Pulling the plants would have that effect - clipping is more time consuming but doesn't stimulate the roots. Over time, other plants should be able to out-compete the weakened thistles, and they should either die out or become much reduced.

The plan seems to be working. I finished clipping just one pickup load of thistles last week. So in a single year thistles have been reduced by half. And also where the thistles were still growing they didn't dominate the plant community like they did last year. Other plants are getting a foothold. I hope this positive trend continues next year!

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