Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Flowering knotweed!

I know, Labor Day weekend, I'm supposed to be relaxing. Instead, I brought Moira down for a two-hour session at the knotweed site opn Sunday. She used loppers and I used little hand-held clippers, and we tackled the skinny stalks with vigor. The weather was quite nice, not too hot but not cold either. Bright sun and temperatures in the low seventies.

What seems to be happening is that the larger stalks we cut earlier in the season are re-sprouting with two or more new stems, skinny but more abundant. That's about what I expected; I find it interesting, though, that many apparently dead stalks are growing new stems off to the side. These young stalks, less than three feet tall, are actually attempting to flower ~ hopefully, having let the rhizomes expend this much energy over the past few weeks, a cut now will put a real crimp in next year's growth.

The chunk of stalk is brown and brittle, except for the
spot where the new stem was growing. Resilient stuff!

The poison ivy seems to be enjoying the lessened competition for sunlight, and is more abundant than our last cut. There is soapwort (Bouncing Bet) and Queen Anne's Lace, not to mention these other two plants, found at the edges of the site. If you can tell me what they are, I'd love to know! If the comments are not active on this site, please email me: blackrivercleanup@yahoo.com. The only thing actively growing in the middle of the site, aside from knotweed, seems to be the poison ivy...and that is much more prolific at the edges.
Knotweed on the right, Mystery Plant on the left.

We still plan to sow jewelweed, milkweed, chickory and perhaps some low-growing dogwoods on the site.

If you can tell what these pretty red berries are, let me know.
Some seem to have dried up into little raisin-type things.
Under the tarp, after a few weeks of some warm sun (okay, at least one day of RAGING heat!), the vegetation seems to have been baked to a crisp. There are a handful of terribly weak-looking stalks making a feeble attempt at growth, but everything under the tarp is suffering.

Moira holds back the edge of the tarp for a quick photo; note the white,
squiggly sprout in the upper left corner of the picture.

The crown we exposed last time is making a remarkable come-back; new growth all around, with little evidence that we did much to impede the plant's ability to bounce back. I may try this again, but I doubt it'll have much effect. There were plenty of land-snail shells around and some crickets hopping about under the canopy.
We'll see if one more cut is needed before autumn really kicks in; it'll be interesting to see if any significant growth happens!

Plenty of poison ivy ~ note the pretty leaves near the post,
just 'itching' to get into the picture!


Jonathan said...

Photos are tough but I think the paired red berries are on a honeysuckle.

Kelly Stettner said...

Hmmmm! Let's hope that's not a naughty honeysuckle? I'll do some digging at this end ~ let me know if you find out anything at yours.

Thanks for the comment! I feel much better. *grin*


grace said...

Thank you for the knotweed tour on Friday, Kelly. You are one amazing woman. What did you present on?

Could you list a chronology of what you did without commentary? Or, if you have this somewhere else, just let me know?

Another question: how did you measure your site? Did you use Topozone or GPS or tax maps?

Many thanks!

pembrokes said...

Thank you for the tour of the knotweed site on Friday, Kelly. Very much appreciated.

Kelly Stettner said...

Thank you for your interest and comments ~ I will do a new post wrapping up the year, outlining the chronology of what we've done and how we laid out the site in the first place. Seems there is some interest! :-)