July 2009 Native Scape ~ Georgia Native Plant Society

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Published by the Georgia Native Plant Society
July 2009 Volume XV, Number 3

Rescuing in Woodlands - Observations
By Jeane Saylor Reeves Page 3 Our Georgia woods are a wonder, filled in all seasons with treasures, beauty, and release from the pressures of daily life. When we stroll or hike into a rescue site with the intent of saving plants from the imminent, catastrophic effects of earthmoving machines, our hearts are in the right place.

President’s Message Restoration News Plant Rescue News Chapter News Upcoming GNPS Events Member Page

2 17 18 19 20 21

By Ken Gohring Page 7 Trees of the Carya genus are found primarily in North America. While taxonomists differ regarding classification of some plants, 12 distinct species and many varieties are currently recognized as being native to the United States.

Help for Our Native Hemlocks
By Mary Tucker Page 10 Our native hemlocks are dying due to a spreading infestation of the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an aphid-like insect native to Asia. Hope for biological control of the infestation comes in the form of a tiny black beetle that feeds on the adelgid.

Newsletter Editor Sharon Parry Newsletter staff: Ellen Honeycutt and Lisa Betz, Proofreaders NativeSCAPE is published quarterly by the Georgia Native Plant Society. A subscription is included with membership in the GNPS. Copyright 2009 by the Georgia Native Plant Society. All rights reserved. Articles may not be reprinted without permission of the author.

About Mushrooms
By Mary Woehrel Page 12 Mushrooms were once thought to be part of the plant kingdom. With the introduction of DNA analysis, it was found that they actually have more in common with animals than with plants.

Walking with Wildflowers
By Gina Strickland Page 13 Try to imagine cool wooded valleys with winding roads beside roaring green-blue rivers. Broad embankments of trillium in bloom outside your car window as you pass. High mountain top pull-offs with vistas with no cities in sight below.

Black's Bluff and Wolf Creek Preserve
By Ed McDowell Page 16 In September of 2008, the board of directors made the decision to contribute significant gifts from reserve funds to two specific land management organizations The Nature Conservancy, Georgia Chapter, to assist with the expansion of the Black’s Bluff Preserve in Floyd County and the Wolf Creek Preserve in Grady County.


Georgia Native Plant Society P.O. Box 422085 Atlanta, GA 30342-2085 www.gnps.org 770-343-6000 GNPS Board of Directors President Marcia Winchester Vice President Kathryn Gable Secretary Shirley Center Treasurer Paula Reith Members-at-Large: Tom Painter Dick Reeves Don Stewart Director of Communications Sharon Parry Director of Conservation David Zaparanick Director of Education Ellen Honeycutt Director of Membership Mary Lou Cannamela

NativeSCAPE July 2009
President’s Message
By Marcia Winchester

I’m amazed at how lush the woodland plants have become as a result of all the wonderful rain we’ve had this spring. I especially noticed the trillium - during the drought they were quite small with few flowers, and this year they are huge with many of them blooming. I’ve learned a lot from observing native plants in their natural habitat and how they adapt to weather cycles, often much better than nonnative ones. We had a spectacular members only garden tour April 19. A big thanks to our members who allowed us to tour their gardens and to Jane Trentin and Nancy Goodwin for arranging the tour. If you missed the tour check it out on our website at www.gnps.org. Speaking of our website, Mike is constantly updating and adding new information, so be sure to check it out often. In response to our February survey, our July and September meetings will not be held at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Visit our website for more details. Carol Brantley has volunteered to coordinate car pooling to our meetings. If you are interested in participating, contact her at [email protected]. There is more information below. Congratulations to Barbara Dorfman, Karen McCaustland and to all of you who volunteered at the plant sale at Stone Mountain Park. It was a great success. Barbara and Karen are considering holding another sale this fall. We’ll keep you posted as plans are made. Also at Stone Mountain Park, Marshall Wilson has volunteered to be our Propagation Chairperson. If you want to learn more on propagation, attend some of their workdays. It will be well worth your time. My last reminder is that the Heritage Park workdays are the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10-12. It is a great opportunity to learn more about our native plants in a beautiful park setting.

Carpooling in July!!
Here is a chance to get to know other members, protect the environment and help your own budget. If you would like to help us test carpooling, send an email to [email protected] with the information noted below. Having as many replies as possible allows us to suggest convenient carpool groups --- it does not obligate you to participate nor promise a carpool for you. Send your information as soon as possible so that potential carpool members can be notified and plan their trips to our next meeting on July 14, in Alpharetta. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Name (yours) Address with ZIP (the one from which you intend to carpool) Best phone number Email Driving preference (choose one): Driver (my auto has at least 4 seats with belts, good insurance and reliable AC) Navigator (willing to mapquest or be able to read maps) Passenger (will have at least one joke and refrain from driving advice OR I don’t want to clean out the dog hair from my car) 6. Suggested meeting location (grocery or other public parking areas that are safe and don’t interfere with business)


NativeSCAPE July 2009
Rescuing in Woodlands - Observations
By Jeane Saylor Reeves (Reprinted from the April 2003 NativeSCAPE for the benefit of our newer members.)

Our Georgia woods are a wonder, filled in all seasons with treasures, beauty, and release from the pressures of daily life. When we stroll or hike into a rescue site with the intent of saving plants from the imminent, catastrophic effects of earthmoving machines, our hearts are in the right place. These native plants, from small trees and lovely shrubs to delicate wildflowers and graceful ferns, can and will adapt to new, safe homes. But, to ensure their survival, each rescuer should be aware, alert, and contemplative as to the plants’ indigenous situations.

moving, bubbling water. Gentians (Gentiana spp.), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), and grass-of Parnassus (Parnassia asarifolia) come to mind. Other plants such as Jack-in -the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) and Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) are found in damp or boggy conditions, and are at their happiest there. Northern maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum), wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), and galax (Galax urceolata), among others, often prefer the conditions they find at the top of stream banks and ravines. While they need ample moisture, they hate ―wet feet.‖ Once in a while, a plant will be noticed growing out of context, so to speak. For instance, a southern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina) might be spotted at the top of a dry slope; that doesn’t mean that lady ferns like dry conditions. On the contrary, there is probably an underground seep close by. Seasoned native plant gardeners come to realize that certain plants, such as foamflower, galax, and Shuttleworth ginger (Hexastylis shuttleworthii), can be moved into a garden setting and will do quite well. While, in their natural settings, they prefer given conditions, these amenable plants manage nicely elsewhere, as long as they are given dappled sunlight, adequate water, and decent soil. About water: we have found that most native plants, if given the choice, would reject chlorinated tap or hose water in favor of rainwater. Since that isn’t always an option – the years-long drought has made us vividly aware of the glory of a soaking rainstorm – the next best thing is to collect tap water in containers and let it stand for a day or so. Just keep it lightly covered to let the chlorine gases escape and keep out mosquitoes. Cardinal flower and green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) are two of a fairly small number of plants that need to be kept free of winter leaf litter. If these wildflowers with winter rosettes are planted on slopes,

Pink lady’s slipper (Cypripedium acaule) Photo: Robert Baker

There are a number of factors that aren’t readily apparent to the novice rescuer, and even seasoned rescuers sometimes fail to consider that each plant has its own needs. Some flora are even ―picky‖ when it comes to relocation. For instance, native orchids (Cypripedium spp.), trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens), running ground pine (Lycopodium digitatum), and horse sugar (Symplocos tinctoria), although different in their needs, are all demanding, but well worth the effort of educating oneself. Of course we all know that moisture, light, and food are the basic elements that all plants require in varying amounts. But other factors aren’t so obvious, and even moisture, light, and food aren’t so simple. A water-loving plant growing on the bank of a stream is there because it needs the oxygen contained in

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the canopy’s autumn leaves will slide off and let winter sunshine in to do its work. Another horticultural consideration is that some plants require certain minerals, enzymes, or fungi for obtaining or assimilating nutrients. For example, if a downy rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera pubescens) is to survive in a new site, a good quantity of the surrounding, allied soil should accompany it. It should then quickly be placed in a comparable wooded setting. At that point, and with proper watering, the gardener can only hope for the best. On the contrary, other plants, such as Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), Catesby trillium (Trillium catesbaei), and mouse-eared coreopsis (Coreopsis auriculata), are an easy pleasure. Another agreeable fern, the small, charming ebony spleenwort (Asplenium platyneuron), enjoys often acidic, lessthan-moist soil. It can be found colonizing on disturbed soil (once, even in a local vineyard!), or among lichen-spotted rocks on small, mossy ridges. Please do keep in mind that a clump of green that is seemingly insignificant, even boring in appearance, may sport delightful flowers, fall color, or berries in another season. And there are a few plants, such as toothwort (Cardamine diphylla) and cranefly orchis (Tipularia discolor), whose foliage appears in late autumn and remains green through the winter, while flowering in the spring and going dormant for the summer. It really does serve a new rescuer well to study a few books on native plants and to keep the eyes and ears open to learn from other rescuers. When we are fortunate enough to have a rescue site that holds trout lilies (Erythronium spp.), we quickly learn that the bulbs, more often than not, are nestled among rocks under the soil. The rocks help prevent rodents from digging and eating the bulbs, and they also provide a cool root run. (By the way, trout lily bulbs, as they gow older and bigger, work themselves deeper into the ground; we must allow for that when we dig, so as not to sever the bulbs. Another aside:

we find trout lilies in a given site springing from the tops of mesic hillocks, growing down the slopes, and almost into creeks.)

Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) Photo: Robert Baker

In fact, many plants benefit from including local stones in the planting hole. In addition to a cool root run, the rocks aerate soil that may otherwise become compacted over time. Some plants such as hepatica (Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa) and Oconee azalea (Rhododendron flammeum) grow best in rocky, dryish soil that has a rather high lime content. Even here in our lower piedmont, with its many acid-loving plants, we find pockets of basic (high pH) soil and the plants that thrive in them. A quick mention of another factor is that of ―lean‖ soil. The preference for some plants, such as bird’s-foot violet (Viola pedata) and certain asters (formerly Aster spp., now reclassified into several genera), is for dirt that is not rich and friable but rather thin, sometimes hard-packed, and usually dry, often in sunnier sites. Erma Bombeck, the late columnist, once wrote of rearing her children with ―benign neglect.‖ Sometimes green things, too, don’t take to being coddled. Rescuers need to consider that some plants, from buckeye (Aesculus spp.) to Shuttleworth ginger, have root systems that require special attention. Their

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roots are few in number, and therefore, must be worked out of their homes with care. Patience is a virtue – in fact, perhaps a matter of vegetative life or death. But with any plant, don’t give up too soon if it seems to have passed into the Great Beyond. ―Goner‖ shrubs and trees, while appearing to be dried-up sticks, may send out new growth from the roots or stems a year, or even two, later. As for small trees, some are readily transplanted; others hate being moved. Beech (Fagus americanus) and chalk maple (Acer leucoderme) are quite tolerant, while redbud (Cercis canadensis), which seeds abundantly, often rebels at having its taproot disturbed. Rescuers have joked over the years about a small number of plants ―dying just to spite you.‖ Of course, trees and shrubs are certainly more amenable to being uprooted during dormancy. Unfortunately this isn’t usually an option at a site on the verge of being developed. Selective pruning can help lessen the strain on the plant. Along the same lines, it is important to keep in mind that the ferns, wildflowers, trees, and shrubs one comes across on a rescue in the woods emerged through seed dispersal or offshoots. Almost never were they dug from another place and plopped into new sites. While we rescuers must do just that, extra care – especially regular watering for a year or so – will help to ensure their survival. Some of these stressed plants may wilt badly, especially in the heat of summer. (Again, cutting the foliage back can reduce the strain on the roots.) Others, surprisingly, don’t miss a beat and continue to adjust and thrive. Canopy is another consideration; the treetop leaf cover that starts out sparsely, with pioneering trees, over the years becomes denser, heavily shading the ground below. The plants that bloomed in bright dappled shade may not do so when sunlight is notably reduced. Piedmont azaleas (R. canescens), in particular, might stop forming buds, even though the shrubs themselves are quite healthy. Moving one (while cutting it back as necessary) to a more open

area could be all it needs to start flowering again. The larger lilies – Turk’s-cap (Lilium superbum), Carolina (L. michauxii) – fall into the same category. Another aspect of canopy is that, occasionally, rescuers will discover a fresh point of view regarding flora that they are only accustomed to seeing in a sunny spot. If southern, or bull-bay, magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is found in a rich, moist, wooded area, it will look so different from its lawn or roadside version as to be quite surprising. It grows tall and slender, not so laden with leaves (and not usually blooming). In the winter it reveals itself nicely through the stark hardwoods as a bright, almost delicate, tower of green. What about a rescuer who dearly wants that clump of blooming fly poison (Amianthium muscitoxicum) but can’t provide the loamy, wooded slope that is commonly its choice? Or, say, a fine turtlehead (Chelone spp.), thriving in a bright, damp swale? If one studies the area in which a plant is distributed and chooses a particular plant on the locale’s outer reaches that most closely matches the new home destination, chances for its survival improve. (Genetics at work?) On the other hand, desire can and should go only so far. Rescuers who can’t come close to providing a suitable adoptive home are well advised to let someone else with a more acceptable garden, woodland, or creek setting take a treasure and keep it healthy – or alive! On a horticultural note, if a rescuer comes across a plant that self-seeds readily, for instance Coreopsis spp., Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica), or wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), placing it at the higher realms of a slope will help to ensure that the seeds will work their way down over the years. A ―drift‖ of such a plant can be a lovely thing. Another gardening tip: when one observes two or more plants blooming at approximately the same time, and appreciating the same conditions, placing them as companions can create a delightful picture. Try the pale yellow of bellwort (Uvularia spp.) nodding over the dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata), with its yellow patch, for instance, or note how the rich, plumy red
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of sweet shrub (Calycanthus floridus) is echoed in the tiny dots of red seen in the white bells of mountain laurel. The education of a rescuer is a joyous thing for both the neophyte and the facilitator or old hand who helps. At the beginning of the learning curve, it may all seem overwhelming, and even cause anxiety. But our native plants are for the most part quite forgiving and hearty. Out in the woods, after a few rescues are ―under the belt,‖ the many questions and concerns soon give way to the camaraderie and good will that pull us all together. Our cause is good, and the results are a blessing.

Nominations are now open for 2010 GNPS Plant of the Year!

This program promotes the recognition of outstanding native plants and encourages a deeper appreciation of our especially desirable native plants. GNPS members may nominate any plant which is native to Georgia until 10/15/09. Please send your nomination to [email protected]. Include the common name, scientific name and your reason for nominating your native plant in your nomination. After the nomination process has closed, the nominated native plants will be posted on the GNPS website. GNPS members will select the Plant of the Year by voting either electronically or in person at the November general meeting. Electronic voting either via the GNPS website or by email ends at midnight 11/9/09 preceding the November 10th general meeting. You may only vote once. Below is the link to the annual winners and some photos of the winning plants. http://gnps.org/poy/Plant_of_the_Year.html


The family of Jeane Reeves attended the ceremony dedicating her Native Fern Garden at the Georgia Perimeter College Native Plant Botanical Garden, on May 2, 2009. From left to right: Jeane’s son Scott, Scott’s wife Shirley, husband Dick, son Matt, and daughter Susan. This sign marks the area dedicated to Jeane, the GNPS founding member who developed the plant rescue program.

2000 GNPS Plant of the Year


NativeSCAPE July 2009
By Ken Gohring

In the backyard of my home, west of Marietta, are two large trees whose presence dominates the area. The trees are about 80 feet tall and are among oak and pine trees. These trees are mockernut hickories (Carya tomentosa). Mockernut hickory is one of a dozen distinct species of hickories found in the United States. I was somewhat excited to have hickories in my backyard as I have had an attraction to hickories for some time. On the small farm I grew up on in Missouri, a large hickory stood on a small hill top at the rear of our home. It was quite a bit different from the hickories in my Georgia back yard. It was a shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), characterized by bark that appears in long plate-like strips, attached to the tree trunk in the middle but loose elsewhere along its length. This attractive shaggy appearance has resulted in the tree’s common name.

The reason for my attraction to hickories is the fruit, which as children we called ―hicker nuts.‖ The fruit production of hickories is quite variable and is one reason why hickories are not often grown as a commercial crop. The shagbark near the home where I grew up did not produce many nuts. The same was true of other hickories on our farm, but there were numerous hickory trees on neighboring farms that did produce large crops of nuts with relatively thin shells. These were eagerly sought for eating as a tasty treat and used in pies similar to the way pecans are used today. While the nut meats are not as easy to extract as pecans, the taste in my opinion is superior. Usually the desirable shagbark hickories would be found in open, relative dry pasture areas. As a youth I noticed hickory nuts for sale in grocery stores. These nuts were quite a bit larger than the ones that we gathered. These nuts were the fruit of the shellbark hickory (Carya laciniosa). Shellbark hickory is less common than shagbark, but it does have a large natural growth area. It is primarily a Midwestern tree whose range extends from western New York to eastern Kansas. Its southern range includes Tennessee and some specimens have been found in northwest Georgia. Its bark is very similar to the shagbark, and in some areas the species is called shagbark. Trees of the Carya genus are found primarily in North America. While taxonomists differ regarding classification of some plants, 12 distinct species and many varieties are currently recognized as being native to the United States. Another is found in Mexico and two or more are found in Southeast Asia. Carya is part of the Juglandaceae family, which includes the walnuts. The Carya species found in the US are divided into two sections, Carya and Apocarya. The first section, Carya, includes what are called true hickories. The second, Apocarya, includes the water hickory (Carya aquatica) and the bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis), which are both native to Georgia. Both of these hickories have bitter fruit which is quite a contrast to the other member of the section, the pecan.
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Fruit of Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) Paul Wray, Iowa State University, www.forestryimages.org

The hickory trees growing on my small farm in Polk County are shagbarks. However, they are a special variety, sometimes called southern or Carolina shagbark (Carya ovata var. australis or Carya ovata var. carolinae septentrionalis). The southern shagbark has slightly smaller nuts and more narrow and less hairy leaves and the bark, while shaggy, is not as regular and tight as the standard shagbark. The southern shagbark is usually found in neutral soils, whereas the standard shagbark prefers acidic soils.


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Hickory trees are characterized as trees with deep taproots, having a compound leaf structure and being monoeocious (having both male and female flowers). The male flowers are catkins up to several inches long that produce pollen that fertilizes the smaller female flowers which are spikes at the end of stalks. The pollen is wind borne and is one of the tree pollens that can cause spring allergies in those susceptible. Hickory trees are one of the most useful and commercially significant trees found in the forest. Native Americans used hickory nuts as an important food, produced by cracking the nuts, boiling them and skimming off the oily substance, and using it like butter. Early American settlers also used this product, called hickory milk, as well. Native Americans also used the wood in making bows. For years the American chestnut was recognized as the most valuable tree found in the southeast because of its many uses. In many ways, the hickory has filled this role. Hickory wood is strong and durable, and used in products capable of withstanding strong vibrations. In pioneer days, it was used to make wagon wheels and textile looms. It is still used to make handles for tools. The wood is also used for charcoal and for smoking meat. It is an excellent fire wood and is highly desired for this purpose. The wood is used by the furniture industry. It is also used to produce syrup like that made from maple trees. Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) is considered one of the most valuable cultivated plants originating in North America. Thomas Jefferson planted pecans at Monticello and gave some to George Washington. It is said that these pecans are the oldest trees at Mt. Vernon. A large number of pecan cultivars have been developed and named. They vary in nut size (from 1 to 3 inches), flavor quality, shell thickness, age at first bearing, disease resistance, bearing tendency and length of time for crop maturity. Some of these with thin shells are called ―paper shells‖. Even though pecans are most likely not native to Georgia, the state leads the nation in pecan production. One cannot drive through middle to south Georgia without seeing a large number of pecan groves. The

pecan is the largest of the hickories, growing to 130 feet in height. Its large major limbs grow up and out in a distinctive spreading manner. It is fairly easy to spot these groves of pecans because of this growth feature. In addition to providing delicious nuts, the wood is used for flooring, cabinets and furniture. While the pecan is the state tree of Texas, it got its name because early settlers found it growing and being used by Native Americans in Illinois. It is somewhat difficult to determine its original range, but it is believed to be primarily along the Mississippi River drainage extending as far west as Texas and as far north as southern Illinois. Many of the hickories are native to Georgia. One of these is the pignut hickory whose nuts were gathered by early colonists and fed to swine, resulting in the common name. Pignut hickory is quite common in the southern Appalachians. Other hickories found in Georgia are the sand hickory (Carya pallida) and the mockernut (Carya tomentosa).

Mockernut Hickory (Carya tomentosa) - Fall Foliage Photo Credit: Sharon Parry

The nutmeg hickory (Carya myristiciformis) is rare and has a quite limited range. The only substantial population is near Selma, AL. It is sometimes called swamp hickory because of its growth habit. The red hickory (Carya ovalis) is much more common that the nutmeg hickory. At one time it was thought to be a hybrid of the shagbark and pignut hickories.
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The following tables detail some features of the hickories found in the US. It is not intended to be a definitive aid to species identification. Most of the references cited have keys that can be used for this purpose.
Common Name SECTION CARYA Pignut Shellbark Nutmeg Red Shagbark Southern Shagbark Sand Scrub Black Mockernut SECTION APOCARYA Water Bitternut Pecan aquatica cordiformis illinoinensis 70 - 100 ft. 60 - 80 ft. To 130 ft. 1 to 1-1/2 in. To 1 in. 1-1/2 to 2 in. 8 - 16 in. 7 - 10 in. 12 - 18 in. 7 - 15 7 - 11 9 - 15 S. Ga Yes No glabra laciniosa myristiciformis ovalis ovata ovata var.australis pallida floridana texana tomentosa 60 - 80 ft 70 - 100 ft. To 80 ft. 80 - 100 ft. To 120 ft. 65 - 100 ft. 30 - 80 ft. 10 - 20 ft. 20 - 30 ft. 50 - 80 ft. 1/2 to 1-1/2 in. 2 to 2/12 in. 1 to 1.2 in. 1 to 1-1/2 in. 1-1/4 to 2-1/2 in. 1 to 1-1/4 in. 3/4 to 1-1/2 in. To 1-1/4 in. 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 in. 1-1/2 to 2 in. 8 - 12 in. 15 - 24 in. 7 - 14 in. 8 - 12 in. 8 - 14 in. 5 - 12 in. 7 - 14 in. 8 - 12 in. 6 - 12 in. 9 - 14 in. Usually 5 5-9 5-9 5-9 5 or 7 5-7 5-9 3-7 5-7 7-9 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Species Height Nut Size Leaf Size # Leaflets Ga Native

Common Name SECTION CARYA Pignut Shellbark Nutmeg Red Shagbark Southern Shagbark Sand Scrub Black Mockernut SECTION APOCARYA Water Bitternut Pecan

Nut Taste




Bitter Good Edible Sweet Delicious Edible Edible Edible Edible Edible Bitter Very Bitter Excellent

Scaly ridged Shaggy Fissured Shaggy & Ridges Shaggy Shaggy Deep furrows Smooth, ridges Deep furrows Ridges, furrows Fissured, scales Furrowed Thin broken strips

Thin Thick Thick Thin Thick Thick Thick Thick Thin Thick Thin Thin Thin

SE US, Mo east to NY, north to ME MO east to PA, south through TN Rare, scattered SC to east TX, most in AL SE US, MO east to NY, north to ME Eastern US, excluding so. part of so. States Heart of Dixie, NC through MS Confederacy excluding TX, FL, so. GA & so. SC Central FL TX north to OK & MO So. states north to IL & PA MS River Valley & Coastal South to NC Eastern States excluding Gulf coast MS River Valley west to central TX

Sources: Brown, Claude and L. Katherine Kirkman 1990. Trees of Georgia and Adjacent States. Portland, OR. Timber Press. Harrar, Ellwoods and J. George Harrar, 1962. Guide to Southern Trees. New York, NY. Dover Publications. Lance, Ron 2004. Woody Plants of the Southeastern United States, A Winter Guide. Athens, GA. The University of Georgia Press. Little, Elbert L. 1998. National Audubon Society field Guide to North American Trees, Eastern Edition. New York, NY. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.


NativeSCAPE July 2009
Help for Our Native Hemlocks
By Mary Tucker

At the March 2009 GNPS meeting, we were treated to a presentation by Dr. Robert Fuller of the Predator Beetle Lab at North Georgia College and State University (NGCSU) in Dahlonega. He told us that our native hemlocks are dying due to a spreading infestation of the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an aphid-like insect native to Asia. Hope for biological control of the infestation comes in the form of a tiny black beetle that feeds on the adelgid. These beetles are being raised in Dr. Fuller’s Predator Beetle Lab and at several other labs in Georgia and throughout the eastern United States. Hemlocks cover thousands of acres in north Georgia, inhabiting moist environments near rivers and streams. The shade they cast helps moderate the temperature of the streams, protecting water quality and making streams habitable for species such as trout. The trees themselves also provide habitat and food for many wildlife species. There are two species of native hemlock in eastern North America, the eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and the Carolina hemlock (T. caroliniana), with the eastern hemlock being the dominant of the two. Both species are threatened by the HWA. The HWA is an introduced pest that came from Asia and was likely introduced on nursery stock. It was first seen on the East Coast in Virginia in the early 1950s. The HWA has been spreading at a rate of about 12 miles per year, and it has now spread as far north as Maine and south to northern Georgia. It is currently at least as far south in Georgia as Lumpkin, Dawson, and Pickens Counties, and it is sure to continue its migration south. The HWA can cause decline and death of a tree in as little as three years. Dr. Fuller noted that approximately 95% of the hemlocks in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia have already died. Dr. Fuller described the HWA lifecycle, noting that they are active in late fall, winter, and early spring, when they are in their ―crawler‖ stage. The HWA is a small,

dark insect, but it can be most easily recognized on hemlock trees by the white wool-like material that it surrounds itself with. It damages the hemlocks by piercing the tree and sucking out nutrients. This causes damage to needles and buds, weakening the tree substantially.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Archive Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Bugwood.org

The crawlers move about a bit on the tree, but they can also be shaken off a limb by wind and can blow for hundreds of yards, infesting other trees. They are also sticky in nature and can be picked up by birds or other animals. Even humans hiking in the woods can get the crawlers on their clothes and unknowingly spread the pests. The East Coast has no native predator of the HWA, hence the attempt to introduce the predator beetles (most of which come from Asia) as a control measure. These beetles feed primarily on the HWA and are dependent on the HWA to reproduce, so the beetles are unlikely to have any negative impact on other species. The Predator Beetle Lab released its first 50,000 beetles in March of 2008. The lab has doubled its capacity since then and is in the process of doubling capacity again. Dr. Fuller described the laborious and exacting methods used to raise the beetles, and he brought live specimens for GNPS members to see.
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Beetles are released into areas that have been designated as Hemlock Conservation Areas, which are locations that have been determined to be critical hemlock habitat. It is expected that the released beetles will continue to reproduce in the wild to become self sustaining, and that they will spread from the initial release sites to adjoining areas.

For more information on homeowner treatment options, see the website of the Predator Beetle Lab: www.ngcsu.edu/resource/EnvirLeadCenter/pindex.htm. This site also has information on all aspects of this issue, as well as a photo gallery, updates from the Dahlonega beetle lab, and links to other resources. Another useful source of information is the Lumpkin Coalition (www.lumpkincoalition.org), a non-profit, volunteer organization whose primary focus is saving our hemlocks. At their website you will informative articles, pictures to help you identify an HWA infestation, treatment information, and progress reports from various predator beetle labs. The Lumpkin Coalition hosts HemlockFest every November to raise awareness about the plight of the hemlocks and to raise money to save them. The 2009 HemlockFest will take place November 6-8. WHAT YOU CAN DO Educate yourself about the HWA and monitor your trees for infestation. Take action to treat any infestation that you find. Be aware of infested hemlocks that you may encounter in the wild and avoid spreading the HWA. Tell friends and neighbors about the HWA threat to our hemlocks. Donate to the NGCSU Predator Beetle Lab at this address: NGCSU Predator Beetle Lab; c/o Dr. Robert Fuller; Environmental Leadership Center; 106 Rogers Hall; North Georgia College & State University; Dahlonega, GA 30597 See the Donate section of the Lumpkin Coalition website and support the Lumpkin Coalition with monetary donations, gifts in kind, or by volunteering your time. Attend HemlockFest in November to show your support for our hemlocks.

Lady Beetle (Sasajiscymnus tsugae) Carole Cheah, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Bugwood.org

Dr. Fuller noted that ornamental hemlocks that you may have on your property are also in danger from the HWA, and he gave tips regarding diagnosis and treatment. The HWA are not very visible until they have their white, woolly coating, which they secrete in late fall; therefore, he recommended beginning inspection of your trees in December. There are several insecticides that can be used, but Dr. Fuller recommended soil injection of the chemical imidacloprid as the most effective method. There are treatment companies that specialize in this service, or the homeowner can borrow a soil injector from the Georgia Forestry Commission. The chemical lasts about two to four years, so retreatment may be necessary. Dormant oil or insecticidal soap may be effective if the hemlock is small enough to be fully treated by that method.



NativeSCAPE July 2009
About Mushrooms
By Mary Woehrel, President, Mushroom Club of Georgia

When identifying mushrooms, color is not as important as looking to see what is under the cap. This is especially important when sending a picture of a mushroom to be identified. Mushrooms don’t always ―bloom‖ every year. If conditions aren’t right, they will skip a year or several years. There are, however, certain seasons when mushrooms in general are more plentiful. Morels in the spring, boletes in the late summer and fall. However, you can’t depend on most mushrooms to appear every year at the same spot. Temperature, rainfall and substrate are crucial. Mushrooms were once thought to be part of the plant kingdom. With the introduction of DNA analysis, it was found that they actually have more in common with animals than with plants. It didn’t seem right to consider them animals, however, so they were given their own kingdom. Mushrooms have not been studied as thoroughly as plants – so there are still many unlisted or poorly described species. It is possible then, for someone going into the study of fungi, to make surprising discoveries of new species or to discover species in an area where it was thought that they did not exist. Many of these discoveries are being made by amateur mycologists. Poisonous mushrooms, unlike many poisonous plants, are not dangerous to touch or handle. You don’t have to wear gloves for example to handle them. You may want to protect yourself from insects or surrounding plants like poison ivy, but it is not necessary to protect yourself from skin toxins in mushrooms. All mushrooms should be cooked or steamed before eating, even the store-bought button mushrooms. Mushrooms contain protein, minerals and medicinal polysaccharides, but they also contain hydrazine, a volatile substance used in rocket fuel that is carcinogenic. Cooking dissipates it completely. Be sure to buy a good field guide such as the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. Buy more than one field guide. Learn what the deadly species look like and the symptoms of poisoning. Then you will feel more comfortable about studying the others. Some mushroom species are very easy to identify (the chicken mushroom or sulfur shelf, the giant puffball, morels, and the chanterelle are considered so obvious that people call them the foolproof four). Some people include the shaggy mane mushroom instead of the chanterelle. Others are quite difficult, especially the LBMs (Little Brown Mushrooms).

Some species have poisonous look-alikes; others are quite distinct and have no poisonous relatives. Learn a small number of the most unmistakable species at first and then as you become more knowledgeable, try some of the others that are more difficult to identify. Join a local mushroom club and go on a few walks or forays. Trying to identify mushrooms from pictures in a book is difficult and can be dangerous. It’s best to learn from a mentor or group. Mushroom clubs are listed on the NAMA website: www.namyco.org. Visit www.gamushroomclub.org for information on the Mushroom Club of Georgia.

A beautiful but poisonous Amanita mushroom Photo Credit: Sharon Parry

Mushrooms and Plants: A Beneficial Relationship Mushrooms are the reproductive structures of fungi. Underground, below ―blooming‖ mushrooms are thread-like networks called hyphae. Some of these hyphae attach to plant roots, creating thread-like extensions that reach far into the soil, increasing the surface area of the plant roots exponentially. The fungal hyphae and the plant roots working together are called mycorrhizae (Greek for ―fungus roots‖). The vast majority of the plant species that have been scientifically examined are mycorrhizal. This symbiotic and mutualistic association between a fungus and the roots of the plant provides the fungus with access to the carbohydrates produced by the plant during photosynthesis. The carbohydrates are translocated from their source (usually leaves) to the root tissues and then to the fungal partners. In return, the plant gains the use of the very large surface area of the mycelium (the collective group of fungal hyphae) to absorb water and mineral nutrients from the soil, vastly improving the absorption capabilities of the plant roots for the plant partner, and often providing resistance to diseases, such as those caused by microbial soil-borne pathogens. Both physical and chemical processes contribute to this mycorrhizal relationship.


NativeSCAPE July 2009
Walking with Wildflowers
By Gina Strickland

Try to imagine cool wooded available programs. The valleys with winding roads best part I find is viewing beside roaring green-blue breathtaking vistas and rivers. Broad embankments native plants in bloom on of trillium in bloom outside the same trail. I also your car window as you pass. enjoy some nonHigh mountain top pull-offs wildflower oriented with vistas with no cities in outdoor programs like the sight below. A place where nighttime bat walk I quiet walkways lead you into attended this year. the cove hardwood forests and your fellow travelers are I discovered this just as crazy about wonderful encounter in White Wake-Robin (Trillium erectum) Photo Credit: Mike Strickland wildflowers as you are. Where is this the mountains only four nirvana to be found? It’s the Spring Wildflower years ago and I still lament having missed so many in Pilgrimage in April at the Great Smoky Mountains past years. My husband Mike and I eagerly await the National Park (www.nps.gov/grsm) near Gatlinburg early March announcement of each year's programs. Tennessee. The best programs fill up quickly so we stand-by ready for the 9:00 registration the day the website Smoky Mountains National Park is situated between opens up so we are sure to get the ones we want. Tennessee and North Carolina with rolling hills, wild Don't bother to phone us at 8:45 on registration day! rivers and the ancient mountain range of the It's that nice of a vacation for wildflower enthusiasts. southern Appalachians. 800 miles of hiking trails This year we registered for four days, a mix of short from easy to strenuous can be found there. The park easy and medium level hikes during the daytime. We is renowned for its biodiversity and the beautiful selected some of our past favorites and chose a few wildflowers, more different kinds of which are found new hikes as well. Clicking on the following link will there than in any other national park in North take you to a web page with the actual photos taken America. The park is a sanctuary for many species on the trails this year: and offers a rare opportunity to view a wide range of (http://georgianatives.net/swfp09/swfp09.html). wildflowers within short distances. Rather than hiking from point A to point B, I found myself walking Day 1 slowly to observe ten, twenty, or sometimes more different kinds of plants in bloom within a few feet. Our morning hike was a Fern Walk at 'the Sinks' near Of course the ideal time to visit and bask in the Metcalf Bottoms and Chestnut top trail. We were led beauty of so many wildflowers in bloom is in the by Dr. Murray Evans, former University of Tennessee spring. professor and one of the world's leading authorities on ferns, author of Ferns of the Smokies. (This book The park’s Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is available at Sugarlands Visitor Center or on-line (www.springwildflowerpilgrimage.org) has been an http://www.thegreatsmokymountains.org/.) annual event for 59 years. More than 1,200 people There is an established trail here, but because we visit during the five days of programs usually April 21 were with the Pilgrimage leaders we went off trail in through April 25. There is something to suit everyone a wetland area to view and learn about the ferns in from indoor programs, short easy walks to all day the area. Highlights included a fern glade of royal hikes. The hard part is choosing from the over 100 fern (Osmunda regalis) and cinnamon fern (Osmunda
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cinnamomea), and a cove shaped hillside covered with granite rocks that sport groupings of maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum) and fancy fern (Dryopteris intermedia aspleniaceae). Not being a fern purist, I could not help but photograph the trilliums and Iris cristata along the way. Mike found both toadshade trillium (Trillium cuneatum) and Trillium luteum growing side by side and unusual four leafed and five leafed specimens. Our afternoon hike took us to the old Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail that overlooks Gatlinburg. Here there is a pioneer cabin, barn and mill raceway of Noah 'Bud' Ogle that gives the trail its name. The nature trail is short and easy walking except for the last bit which is best described as a boulder field under a canopy forest of rhododendron. Highlights here are a large patch of geranium (Geranium maculatum) near the trail head, showy orchis (Galearis spectabilis), Clinton’s lily (Clintonia umbellulata), Iris cristata, Trillium grandiflorum and bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata). We saw the remains of American chestnut trees still lying on the ground as if cut a month ago instead of more than 80 years ago, felled when killed by the chestnut blight imported from Asia. It’s a stark reminder of the devastating effects of accidental pest importation on nursery stock. Just beyond the days gone by chestnut tree logs, our guide pointed to the damage of the woolly adelgid on the hemlock trees, the latest introduced pest that is having a devastating effect on the hemlock trees in the park. The end of the trail brought our spirits back as we crossed a log bridge over a small branch filled with brook lettuce (Saxifraga micranthidifolia) in full bloom and Clinton’s lily just opening its buds. That evening, although we were done for the day with our formal programs, it was a warm mountain evening with plenty of light left for photography so we decided to visit Ash Hopper Branch, one of our favorite trails from prior years that is a short driving distance from Bud Ogle Trail. Here we found some

very nice specimens of maidenhair fern and doll’s eyes (Actaea pachypoda) growing close by while a small flock of wild turkey foraged just above us on the hillside. The white flowered Trillium erectum was really spectacular this year. The specimens were particularly large on this trail. We found two patches of Trillium vaseyi that we knew from prior years might be in bloom, but both were only in bud.

Brook Lettuce (Saxifraga micranthidifolia) Photo Credit: Mike Strickland

Day 2 Our second day began with a trip to Kanati Fork Trail located in North Carolina. We found it to be very dry in this area of the park. Although the trail areas we had visited the previous day seemed lush, this part of the park was obviously still suffering from the drought of 2008. The wildflowers seemed stunted the squaw-root (Conopholis americana) was completely desiccated and the painted trillium (Trillium undulatum) a little small in flower size. A highlight of the trail was purple meadow parsnip (Thaspium trifoliatum), a new flower for me. I was sad but not surprised to hear that this area burned about two days after our walk. Afternoon took us past Rockefeller plaza and Clingmans Dome back towards Gatlinburg. We could not resist stopping at the Chimneys’ picnic area, a cove hardwood hillside
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overlooking a picnic area with a broad rushing creek. It's one of our favorite spots for wildflowers and for remembrances of eventful encounters during past visits. In 2005 there was a bear scare in the parking area and it then rained so hard while on the trail we were both completely soaked even with our rain gear on. That year we spotted an American climbing fern (Lygodium palmatum) at the top of the trail. But this year it was very dry and several of the creeks in the loop trail had no water in them. The flowers however were still spectacular although changed from prior wet years. There were no Jack-in-thepulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) this year but we enjoyed the Trillium grandiflorum, Trillium erectum, golden Alexander (Zizia aurea), white fringed phacelia (Phacelia fimbriata) and several violet species that were growing together - sweet white (Viola blanda), common blue (Viola papilionacea), smooth yellow stemmed (Viola pensylvanica) and Canada sweet violet (Viola canadensis).

rocky hillside and across an open field then back up along a rushing stream. Highlights were a large patch of Iris cristata in bloom in the field, paw-paw (Asimina triloba) trees in flower, marsh violet (Viola cucullata) blooming in the stream, Miami mist phacelia (Phacelia pushii) and blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) in bloom. Day 4 We saved the best for last. One of our favorites from our short 4 years attending the Pilgrimage is the walking trail called Porter's Creek, near little Greenbriar. It's uphill but not too steep on a wide, well maintained trail beside a rushing Porter's Creek. The swirling waters crashing around rocks in the creek alone is worth the trip but with the large diversity of wildflowers in bloom especially along the lower part of the trail, it is truly a spot that can't be missed. Highlights of this trail are banks of false Solomon's seal (Smilacina racemosa), Canada sweet violet at the trail head, the showy orchis which blooms in patches all along the trailside, pink lady’s slipper orchids (Cypripedium acaule) on a side trail just beyond the old settlers’ cemetery, and almost to the top of the 3 mile trail just short of Fern Branch Falls is a boulder covered with painted trillium. Many hikers, tired by this time, turn around here like pilgrims having made it to the shrine if you will, but if you pause for a time just beyond Trillium Boulder, your eyes begin to notice several more boulders just down the path covered with lush growths of rock cap fern (Polypodium virginianum). I like to return more slowly than I came up to take in the flowers I may have missed on the climb and enjoy the creek one more time, pausing on one of several benches beside the trail, a little sad knowing it will be another year before I get to see it again. We can't wait for next year.

Miami mist phacelia (Phacelia pushii) Photo Credit: Mike Strickland

Day 3 We walked the Quiet Walk Way on Newfound Gap Rd between Sugarlands and the Chimneys. This was a new trail for us and we enjoyed the loop trail down a



NativeSCAPE July 2009
Black's Bluff and Wolf Creek Preserve
By Ed McDowell

In September of 2008, the board of directors made the decision to contribute significant gifts from reserve funds to two specific land management organizations – The Nature Conservancy, Georgia Chapter, to assist with the expansion of the Black’s Bluff Preserve in Floyd County and the Wolf Creek Preserve in Grady County. Black’s Bluff Preserve, now a 263 acre site, is a massive natural rock garden consisting of a rich oak-hickory forest growing on a steep outcrop of 500 million year old Conasauga limestone. Please read specifics about the site at The Nature Conservancy website at http:// www.nature.org/ wherewework/ northamerica/states/ georgia/preserves/ art20700.html. The Preserve is home to many plants that Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica) prefer calcareous soils Photo Credit: Ed McDowell such as Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica), showy skullcap (Scutellaria montana), Hydrangea arborescens, and many more. The Preserve is one of the few open TNC Preserves and The Spring Trail offers a wonderful hike to the top of one Showy Skullcap (Scutellaria montana) of the bluffs. Photo Credit: Ed McDowell The images were taken at the GNPS field trip to Black’s Bluff on May 31, 2009. Field trips are in the planning stage for the fall of 2009 and spring of 2010. Wolf Creek Preserve in Grady County, a 140 acre site with 4 acres of solid trout lily (Erythronium umbilicatum) plus other interesting plants is now protected and safe. Please see http://www.flwildflowers.com/wolfcreek/ for a

description of the site and the conservation status. A Georgia Botanical Society field trip was conducted at Wolf

Trout Lily (Erythronium umbilicatum) Creek in February Photo Credit: Ed McDowell 2009 and a GNPS field trip will be scheduled for mid-late February 2010. These images were taken during the February 2009 field trip. Please watch the website and Nativescape for announcements of future field trips. N

Spotted Wake-Robin (Trillium maculatum) Photo Credit: Ed McDowell

A recent update from Dan Miller, Wolf Creek Project Coordinator: “ The closing on the Wolf Creek tract was concluded today, Monday 6/15/09!!!!!! The tract was conveyed to Grady Co. with deed restrictions that prohibit, in perpetuity, any activity detrimental to the unique natural assets of the property. Tall Timbers will monitor the property for the first few years. We appreciate all your help and donation. Please convey to The GA NPS organization and members the good news. We hope to see you and them at Wolf Creek in the future.”


NativeSCAPE July 2009
The Lullwater Conservation Garden Becomes Newest Restoration Site
By Judy Keenan

The Lullwater Garden Club would like to thank the Georgia Native Plant Society for accepting the Lullwater Conservation Garden and Bird Sanctuary as your newest restoration project. The garden, which has always been open to the public, consists of a 6.5acre parcel of land in the center of the historic Druid Hills neighborhood in Atlanta designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the father of American landscape architecture. The Lullwater Garden Club has maintained the garden since 1931 and has owned it outright since 1964 when we purchased it from Emory University. It consists of a wooded stretch of park with Lullwater Creek running through it and is part of the Peavine Creek watershed.

cuneatum), vast swaths of mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), some bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and even a great white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum). Since this parcel of land has never been developed, you also can find many old-growth trees, including an award-winning tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), some of the largest ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana) you can imagine and countless Carolina silverbells (Halesia carolina).

Since the opening of the new native garden, the garden club has seen a marked increase in people strolling through the park and in children exploring the creek. In fact, it is becoming the kind of place that Frederick Law Olmstead intended—a refuge from the stresses of urban Currently, most of the life. Ask anyone in the park shows the effects garden club and they of an exotic species will tell you that they invasion. With the dream of the day when Entrance to Lullwater Conservation Garden exception of kudzu (Pueraria lobata), we have the entire park looks as Photo Credit: Judy Keenan just about every invasive species you can inviting as the native imagine. Rather than neglect, the misguided notion in garden. Now with your help, we have taken a step the 1970s of ―letting it go back to nature‖ has brought closer to achieving that goal. the garden to its current state. Instead of letting it go, our mission now is to bring it back to a natural state. We invite you to come see the garden and to join us in We have already succeeded in clearing a half-acre our bi-monthly clean-ups and ivy pulls which will start portion of the park from the plethora of invasive up again in the Fall. Dates and times will be listed at species that have taken over. With the help of a http://www.gnps.org/geninfo/Calendar.html and at Georgia Garden Club ―Let’s Go Native‖ grant we have www.lullwatergardenclub.com. The Lullwater installed a native garden, designed by Theresa Schrum, Conservation Garden and Bird Sanctuary is located on which demonstrates the use of native species in the Lullwater Road north off Ponce de Leon. We look landscape. forward to our collaboration with our fellow conservation-minded friends. Recently we further cleared a large area of privet For more information about this or other GNPS (Ligustrum sinense) and mahonia (Mahonia bealei). restoration projects or if you are interested in Although English ivy (Hedera helix) and liriope (Liriope becoming a restoration site, please contact David muscari) still blanket the terrain, we have seen the Zaparanick at Conservat[email protected]. N reemergence of many toadshade trillium (Trillium


NativeSCAPE July 2009
Native Plant Rescue News
By Lynn Almand

Rescue schedule The plant rescue season is winding down as I write this in mid-May. We are planning rescues for June, and after that, we’ll only have pop-up rescues in July and August—if the rain and temperatures allow. Summer is the worst time to try to transplant anything, and it is generally just too hot to be out there for any length of time to rescue plants. We can come in and cool off, take a shower and recuperate. The plants can’t. We’ve had a great year so far for rescues: a total of 36 rescues from February through May. How was this possible? They were all compliments of your rescue facilitators— without them, rescues just would not happen. While it may take a lot out of you to drive to the rescue, dig plants, plant them in your garden or project—take a minute to think about what the facilitators have done to make this happen. They scout rescue sites, plan and communicate the rescue info, keep track of all requests, conduct the rescue, help everyone learn about natives, and complete follow-up tasks after each rescue. Many times, they are so busy they don’t have time to rescue any plants for themselves. And they do it over and over again. Yes, they are a terrific group of dedicated members. Come September, give them a big hug or a giant thanks on your next rescue. They do it out of the love for the native plants we are saving from destruction, and the desire to instill that love to everyone who participates on a rescue. Thank you, facilitators. You are the face and voice of GNPS to many of our members, and certainly for many new members, the first person they meet.

Scouts: Bob Boushell, Sheri George, Marcia Winchester, Murrel Creekmore, Paul Shivers, Michelle Eifert, Lynn Almand

Plant Rescue Committee We welcome Andrea Greco to our rescue committee as the site procurement coordinator for the east and south areas of Atlanta. Please let her know about any potential sites at [email protected] or by phone at 404-606-3654. The west/north coordinator is Russell Brannon at [email protected] or by phone at 678-493-7229. Spiders, snakes, chiggers, and ticks, oh my! I’ve had lots of reports of chiggers and ticks lately from facilitators. Chiggers remind me of blackberry picking as a child—only my Mother’s blackberry cobbler and jam made it worth the trips we made. We relied on the nail polish remedy. It didn’t work, but if you used enough bright red polish, you could pretend you had contracted an exotic disease, and that almost helped take your mind off the itching a little. I guess the most potentially dangerous critter that finds us on rescues is the tick. It never fails to give me nightmares when I find one after being in the woods on a rescue or in my own woods, and it sends me into an unnecessary panic. I won’t go any further than that, but here are two links on how to deal with them. They can sometimes cause serious problems, so while they shouldn’t keep you out of the woods, it is important to know what to do. The links are http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rmsf/Q&A.htm#tick AND http://cipm.ncsu.edu/ent/southern_region/ripm/chap8/ticks/tickmain.htm The other potentially dangerous things listed above are best dealt with by avoiding them. If you sit down in the woods, the likelihood that you will get chiggers increases significantly. Wear gloves and other protective clothing, use insect repellant, watch where you step, wash your clothes and yourself as soon as you get home, and don’t let any of this prevent you from getting out there and doing what we love to do—save those wonderful plants from the bulldozer. I hope to see you in the fall or at least know that you’ve registered for a rescue with one of our wonderful facilitators. Keep up the good work you are doing, and let’s keep Jeane Reeves’ dream alive.


NativeSCAPE July 2009
West Georgia Chapter Meeting
By Flo Hayes

Members and guests of the West Georgia Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society met for a nature walk on Saturday, June 20, 2009, at Buffalo Creek Trail adjacent to the Carroll County Agriculture Center. The purpose of the walk was to identify some native plants of interest in their natural habitat. Gina and Mike Strickland, facilitators for GNPS and amateur native plant enthusiasts, had previously identified many plants along the trail and prepared handouts as well as identified them as we walked. The group also spotted some additional plants not on the list. The group observed rudbeckia (Rudbeckia hirta), phlox (Phlox glaberrima), red stemmed lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), netted chain fern (Woodwardia areolata), hawthorn (Crataegus sp.), viburnum (Viburnum sp.), and many more. Wendell Hoomes, also a facilitator, helped with questions and identification. There were some particularly nice plants and shrubs observed.

will include a potluck picnic and a nature walk of the trails led by local native plant experts. If you would like to be associated with WGC-GNPS or simply want more information please contact us at: [email protected] or write to WGC-GNPS at PO Box 635, Carrollton, GA 30112.


Wendell Hoomes points out Whorled Coreopsis (Coreopsis major) Photo: Carol Hight

Meeting Attendees Ready for a Hike Photo: Mike Strickland

The WGC-GNPS offers an opportunity for folks in the West Georgia area to participate in GNPS activities such as plant rescues, restoration, outdoor walks and education about native plants, shrubs and trees. Membership is open to anyone interested in native plants. The next meeting is planned for August 18, 2009 at McIntosh Preserve; the public is invited. A small parking fee is charged for vehicles from outside of Carroll county. It

Mike Strickland talks about Alder (Alnus serrulata) Photo: Carol Hight


NativeSCAPE July 2009
Upcoming GNPS Events
July 14: Member Meeting The July 14th member meeting will be in a different location. This change in location is for this meeting only and is in response to the member survey comments about varying the location of the meeting to increase attendance. Based on response to this meeting (and the September one which will be held elsewhere and on a different day of the week), we will evaluate whether these changes offer more members a chance to participate and should be continued in 2010. The November meeting, which is our annual business meeting, will be held at ABG as usual. Details for the July 14th meeting (still a Tuesday evening): Topic: Native Edible and Medicinals Speaker: Jerry Hightower, Environmental Education Coordinator, National Parks Service Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center 8615 Barnwell Rd. Alpharetta, GA 30022 Please note this facility is NOT the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Meeting schedule: 6:30-7:15 Social time 7:15-7:30 Announcements 7:30-8:30 Presentation August 18: West Georgia Chapter Meeting The next meeting is planned for August 18, 2009 at McIntosh Preserve; the public is invited. A small parking fee is charged for vehicles from outside of Carroll county. It will include a potluck picnic and a nature walk of the trails led by local native plant experts. If you would like to be associated with WGC-GNPS or simply want more information please contact us at: [email protected] or write to WGC-GNPS at PO Box 635, Carrollton, GA 30112. GNPS 2010 Garden Tour On a sunny Sunday in April, five gardens abundant with native Georgia plants were open for GNPS members to tour. The only problem was that there was too much to see in the eight hours allotted for the tour! Many people certainly spent many hours rescuing and planting many of the plants that looked so happy in the natural settings of the tour gardens. Thanks to the Kohlbachers, the Taylors, Eco Addendum, Heritage Park and McFarlane Park for participating in this year's GNPS Garden Tour. And thanks to the photographers who kindly provided photos of the gardens they visited. Now that we are once again getting good rains, I am hoping for more people to agree to have their gardens on the 2010 tour! If any members would like to nominate a garden they saw and liked this Spring to be on next year's tour, please notify Jane Trentin at [email protected].

GNPS Annual Plant Sale Coming in April 2010 The drought is over and it is time to get our beloved natives back into the gardens of the community! Please begin potting up native seedlings and divisions from your garden and when the rescues begin again in the fall, dig extra for the plant sale. Where? McFarlane Nature Park. The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County, with donations from the GNPS Rescue Program, have turned the area surrounding this 1940's farmhouse into a native plant showcase. The park is conveniently located, has lots of parking, plenty of space to sell our sun and shade plants, and easy access to water. (Check out the GNPS Garden Tour page on the web site to see a glimpse of what McFarlane Nature Park has to offer.) We will have more details at a later date, but for now, just know we need everyone's talent and help to make the GNPS Plant Sale a success!
-Sheri George, GNPS Plant Sale Chair (Oh, my goodness...is it too late to change my mind?)


NativeSCAPE July 2009
Recycling in the Garden
By Bill Bellknap

I have been composting for over 30 years, and after trying several different methods, have settled on two: sheet composting and the bin method. Sheet composting is done by putting organic matter in contact with the soil to decompose it into compost fairly rapidly. I use this method in my vegetable garden which I till once a year in the spring. Basically, I use wide rows for planting vegetables which minimizes space for paths. In order to increase the depth and richness of the soil, I dig the paths out and spread the compost I’ve removed onto the planting beds. After digging out the path I am left with a trench about 10 to 14 inches deep. This I fill with organic matter. Some of the matter I get from removing the organic matter from the beds that did not decompose over the winter, usually just the top couple of inches. To this I add all the organic debris collected from removing annuals, from trimming, from removing the dead material from perennials, and from weeding. I put very few leaves in the paths not because they do not make good compost, but because I use the leaves for composting in bins, which I'll describe later. Over the spring, summer and fall all organic matter except leaves, twigs and branches is put on the paths. This year I have added organic matter from kitchen scraps. The result does not make for a very pretty vegetable garden, but it does provide excellent humus and I do not compact the soil in the beds. It is amazing to me how fast the piles of organic matter decompose, usually taking only two to three weeks. In the spring I also collect grass clippings. The grass piled in the rows also helps neaten things up a bit. Having done this all spring, summer and fall I am left with a path of organic matter for next year. The following spring, I till the garden to mix in the new compost with the soil and then redig the paths and start over. This has significantly improved the garden soil every year, and, therefore, improved the productivity of the garden and its ability to retain moisture. I also mulch the garden well and the mulch is also tilled into the garden soil. It is not necessary to till the garden, however. Next year, I plan to remove the top couple of inches of organic matter from the planting beds that has not decomposed and add the organic matter from the paths on top. This will, I believe, actually aid decomposition since all the worms and other critters will not be killed by the tiller. The other method I use for composting is the bin method. To make a bin that minimizes loss through the sides I use

1/2‖ hardware cloth. To reduce the effort of getting the compost from the bin I use 3' high hardware cloth. I purchase 25' rolls and cut them into two pieces, making two bins about 4' in diameter. I use five to six small pieces of insulated solid copper wire (12 or 14 gauge) which I twist to hold the hardware cloth in place overlapping about three inches. This is a very fast, inexpensive way to make the bins. There is one secret for getting good compost from bins: reduce the size of the organic matter. In the fall, I spread several bags of leaves on my driveway and then run the mulching mower over them several times. This reduces the size of the material significantly and allows the pile to contain a significant amount of air. In addition to going over the leaves with a mower, I also use a chipper-shredder which makes for a still finer and more even particle size. The mulched leaves can then be put into bins to make compost in about 8 to 12 months. (It is not necessary to use ―green‖ and ―brown‖ ingredients, although using both together speeds up the process.) I remove the compost when the height of the compost is about one-third of the original height. The chipper-shredder also allows me to shred fallen or pruned branches from trees and shrubs to about 1/4‖ particles or less. In general I keep this material separate from the autumn leaf matter in order to provide two kinds of compost. The leaf compost is rich and almost like loam, while the compost from the branches has both a fine texture and some less fine particles from the wood which has not completely broken down. The latter I find helps aerate the soil in addition to providing humus. Since there is not easy access to the pile, it is difficult to turn the pile in these bins so I do not. During dry conditions I try to have the material around the edges of the bins slightly higher than the rest. This allows the bin to collect rainwater. Water is a very necessary ingredient, so if necessary, I water occasionally to aid decomposition. I have also found it is a good practice to put a layer of leaves on the pile. This helps to insure that all the debris breaks down, even at the very top of the pile and helps to retain moisture. By using both of these composting methods, I retain almost all of the organic matter in my yard. But I also enjoy the benefits this ―recycling program‖ provides. Good luck with either of the techniques. Happy composting! N

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