Once the trail is surveyed, laid out with pin flags and the hinge designated, construction can start. After chainsaw users clear trees and brush earthwork begins. First, all forest large floor litter (branches, cones) is racked downhill (as opposed to downtrail). Next, using a sharp shovel, a McLeod, or pulaski, the duff layer is removed down to mineral soil. From here we can begin our bench cuts. The upslope is dug roughly a 45 degree angle to minimize upslope erosion. The tread is built with a slight outslope—5% appears to be nearly flat. The bench design is critical to shedding water and preventing sediment entrainment and soil erosion. The final step is to compact the upper layer soil, further preventing rainwater infiltration into the soil and expediting water runoff.
Visit our Trail Building site: www.peninsulauf.com/trail-building.html
Trees require a lot of energy to wake themselves up from dormancy and begin growing again. New energy cannot be acquired by the tree until these new leaves grow and begin their process of photosynthesis. By pruning plants in early spring, the unknowing gardener or tree owner is thoroughly increasing those plants susceptibility to a number of diseases and biological stress factors. As with all things trees, compounding this susceptibility by yearly spring pruning can seriously decrease the life potential of a tree.
Early spring is entirely the wrong time of year to prune your trees and shrubs. We can count four distinct problems that arise from pruning trees in the spring.
1) It robs the tree of it's energy reserved from the previous years leaves.
2) It removes leaf buds which would have turned into new leaves, producing the tree more energy.
3) It may remove flower buds or blossoms, which which relate to decreased aesthetics of the tree, and decreased fruit production.
4) Hydraulic pressure of the tree in spring causes increased sap flow from pruning cuts. This sap flow is a colonization ground for bacteria and fungi which could cause tree diseases and increase tree stress overall.
New pruning cuts typically heal faster during dormant (winter) season and are also less likely to attract disease-carrying insects. Pruning during spring and into summer seasons carries the risk of spreading disease to trees. In warmer seasons, for example, pruning cuts lure fungus-spreading beetles. If there is disease or damage already present, it’s also more visible because the trees are bare.
Oak trees, especially, are vulnerable to the deadly oak wilt disease when pruned during the spring and summer. If infected, other oaks on your property are immediately put at risk as well. Trees are healthiest when maintained during the dormant season, before new growth begins next spring. Pruning after the onset of new growth can limit the plant’s bloom potential for the year. Dormant pruning pulls double duty by causing less stress on trees, and allowing for robust new growth in plants that bloom in the spring and summer.
When should you prune?
The best time to prune a tree or shrub is the late winter. Summer is also normally a good time to prune trees. Depending on what species of plant, fall can also be a harmful time to prune.
Instead of pruning lets fertilize.
For all the reasons noted above, spring is the time of year to fertilize your trees and shrubs! Click the link below. http://www.peninsulaurbanforestry.com/organic-fertilization--soil-care.html
We found a clump of Daldinia concentrica a few days ago while performing a tree risk evaluation. This very interesting and unique wood-decay fungi is commonly known as King Alfred's Cakes or coal fungi. In our region we see this fungi on old dead maple trees, Acer macrophyllum. Daldinia concetrica are well known for their presence on ash trees and for their biodegradation qualities. Legend has it, King Alfred the Great of England, escaped war in a countryside homestead where he was directed to remove cakes from an oven. King Alfred fell asleep and unintentionally made "coal fungus" that day by burning the cakes he was charged with.
The fungus is seen year round within it's habitat, is ball or egg shaped, friable (crumbly), shiny and very black. It's clearly understood why "coal fungus" is a common name. There is also a good resemblance to large ungulate scat. The flesh is purple to dark brown, or silver-blackish inside the hard exterior. In their asexual phase, D. concentrica has a pinkish hue, appearing dusty but not.
A diagnostic feature of identification is the interior concentric rings. The concentric zoned interior is how the fungi received it's taxonomic name, concentrica. Slicing the fruiting body in half reveals concentric zonations of flesh. These zones or rings are not "growth rings" as many believe. An individual fruit body has only one period of active spore discharge.
A related species, Daldinia vernicosa, has many similarities. Notably different is the D. vernicosa having a narrow, stem-like sterile base beneath the fertile "cap". The concentric zonations are not similar in the two species.
D. concentrica is a sac-fungi or scientifically a Ascomycota. Sharing it's order of Xylariales is the common and very unique Xylaria polymorpha or "dead man's fingers" fungus. The structure and color of D. concentrica reminds me greatly of shorter, maybe stubby dead man's fingers (X. polymorpha).
It is not edible for it's mere physical properties. Apparently, the tried and crumbly fungi is useful for tinder for campfires.