Posted on July 30, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Idaho’s state flower: Lewis’ Mock Orange, Philadelphus lewisii. When in full bloom the flowers scent the air with a delightfully sweet fragrance reminiscent of orange blossoms. This perennial shrub blooms from March to July and is a great way to attract pollinators into your landscape. The genus is named for the Egyptian king Ptolemy Philadelphus, and the species name (and one of its common names) honors the scientist-explorer Meriwether Lewis, who first discovered and collected it during his exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. Indians used its straight stems in making arrows.
… Mock Orange is available from the CSR Nursery …
Filed under: Discovery, Native Focus | Tagged: Idaho, native plants | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 29, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
CSR has been awarded a re-vegetation contract for the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located 30 miles southwest of Vernal in northeastern Utah. It consists of 11, 987 acres including 12 miles of the Green River.
“Ouray NWR was originally established to serve as a refuge for breeding and migrating waterfowl. More specifically, the primary objective was to provide food and cover for 14 species of nesting ducks. While the purpose for which the Refuge was established has not changed, the methods of achieving the purpose have changed. Management strategies today are focused on managing water to mimic the natural flood plains that existed before dams were erected along the river. Portions of protective levees throughout the Refuge have been removed to allow more frequent flooding. Five bottomlands within the river flood plain – Johnson Bottom, Leota Bottom, Wyasket Lake, Sheppard Bottom, and Woods Bottom – are fed by the river as it winds through the desert. In late May, as natural flooding occurs, ponds are formed, spurring the growth of semi-aquatic plants which provide food and cover for ducks and other wildlife. In addition, these ponds serve as nurseries for the endangered fish species of the Colorado River system. Water is a scarce resource in the desert, and Refuge managers tend it carefully.
Ouray NWR is one link in the chain of sparsely distributed wetlands along the Green River corridor that provide much needed habitat for migrating birds. Refuge habitats include the river, riparian woodlands, wetlands, artificial impoundments, croplands, semidesert shrublands, grasslands, and clay bluffs. This diversity of habitat types provides food and shelter for a wide variety of wildlife.”
CSR’s Biology and Construction Team is excited to begin this project late summer. It is an experimental re-vegetation project that will test different seeding and stewardship methods used in arid land re-vegetation. We will begin by installing experimental plots, and then installing and testing irrigation. Progress updates and photos to come!
Filed under: Biology, Construction | Tagged: re-vegetation | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 28, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Native Focus: Western Coneflower, Rudbeckia occidentalis, is a species of flowering plant in the aster family known by the common name western coneflower. It is native to the northwestern United States from northern California to Wyoming and Montana, where it grows in moist habitat types, such as meadows.
It is an erect perennial herb growing from a thick rhizome, its mostly unbranched stem approaching two meters in maximum height. The large leaves are generally oval but pointed, and lightly to deeply toothed along the edges, growing to 30 centimeters long. The inflorescence is one or more flower heads with purplish bases up to 6 centimeters wide. There are no ray florets, just an array of reflexed phyllaries around the purple-brown center packed with disc florets. This center, containing the receptacles, lengthens to several centimeters in length as the fruits develop. The fruits are achenes each a few millimeters long, some tipped with pappi of tiny scales.
An excellent food source for birds! Available from the CSR Nursery and also in seed packets.
Filed under: Native Focus, Nursery | Tagged: native plants, seeds | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 27, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
CSR Inc’s Seed Department is steadfast and driven toward a thoughtful, ecological approach to wildland seed collection, field production, and precision seed mixing for a broad range of native restorations. We supply properly sourced genetics for all of CSR, Inc.’s restoration activities, and provide our Nursery with the highest quality seed for the production of our outstanding Native plant material. Our Seed Department is supported by our team of professional ecologists, botanists and biologists. We offer customized mixing to address the many variables leading to successful long term restoration.
CSR, Inc.’s custom seed mixes are built to specification. We ensure:
- appropriate species selection
- accurate application rates
- account for unique site features such as soils, water availability and aspect
- achieve specific habitat goals
- obtain desired level of maintenance inputs
- encourage wildlife usage
- be aesthetically pleasing and exceed your restoration requirements.
Our Seed Department also engages in contract collections of species for government agencies, private industry, as well as private land and home owners. How can Conservation Seeding & Restoration Inc‘s Seed Department be of service to you?
Filed under: Nursery, Seeding | Tagged: seeds | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 26, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Mosquitoes. The pesky insects don’t just bite; they can spread disease. CSR’s answer? Install native plants to attract mosquito predators! Dragonflies, various birds and bats are all wonderful mosquito-eaters that we can attract using native plants.
Western Coneflower, Sunflower and Owl’s Claws are three great draws for small birds. Cattails and bulrushes attract dragonflies and
other mosquito-eating insects. You can add dense shrubs that provide cover for birds and mosquito-eating insects such as Sagebrush and Rabbitbrush, and food such as Golden Currant, Chokecherry and Serviceberry…just to name a few!
The addition of bird houses and trees for nesting are also beneficial. You can attract chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, finches, cardinals, grosbeaks, sparrows, blackbirds, jays, woodpeckers and indigo buntings by filling your bird feeder with sunflower seeds and safflower.
A birdbath is also a good method for attracting birds. Birds are naturally attracted by dripping water. If you are shopping for a birdbath, try to find one that has a fountain or some type of running water -which will also prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Lets not forget about bats! Each night, one bat will consume thousands of insects – including mosquitoes. Attracting bats to your yard is as simple as placing a bat house. For best results, bat houses should not be placed in a secluded corner. However, bat houses need to receive at least six hours of sunlight each day. Suspend two houses back to back on a pole about twenty feet off the ground. One house should be painted a light color, and the other one needs to be painted a dark color. The light color house should face the northwest and the dark colored house towards the southeast. This will help enable the bats to switch houses as the climate changes.
By making a few changes in your landscape, you can control those pesky mosquitoes -naturally!
Filed under: Discovery, education | Tagged: native plants | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 23, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Conservation Seeding & Restoration Inc continues Stewardship on a large-scale WY Restoration site
after native seed is installed, and invasive weed control measures are taken.
(invasive weeds/herbicide sprayed in photos above)
Desired result: Natives grasses and plants taking hold and preventing weed spread and germination!
Filed under: Restoration, Seeding, Stewardship | Tagged: Herbicide Application, native plants | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 22, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
When the CSR Biology Team monitors Restoration progress, they evaluate on-site conditions in several ways.
- On-site conditions – seed germination, presence of noxious weeds, presence of undesirable species (halogeton, Russian thistle), grazing pressure, trash on location, erosion features, etc.
- Photo monitoring – a permanent photo point is established on each location monitored. This allows us to take photos from approximately the same position each year. It is a huge asset to be able to effectively compare photos from past monitoring events.
- Photos are only the beginning. You need hard data to back your photos up.
- Set-up on-site and off-site transects. -We set-up a transect by running 50m or 100m of measuring tape across a representative portion of the location you are monitoring. The tape is used differently in many monitoring methods, but most methods require distributing a tape.
- Canopy cover – We use a modified Daubenmire method to collect vegetative canopy cover. Canopy cover is the area covered by the crown of a plant. In a nutshell, you assign a cover class (1 thru 6) to all of your cover types (rock, litter, BSC, bareground, grasses, annual weed, perennial weed, annual forb, perennial forb, perennial shrub).
- Basal cover – We use line-point intercept method and a modified step-point method to measure basal cover. Basal cover is the area occupied by the portion of the plant that extends into the soil (the part of the plant that is rooted).
After data is collected, it comes back to the office for number crunching.
Filed under: Biology, education, Restoration | Tagged: monitoring restoration | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 21, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Native Focus: Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa. A stout, sparingly branched, pubescent perennial, 1 1/2-3 ft. tall, with large, oval, blue-green leaves and showy, spherical clusters of rose-colored flowers. Flowers occur at the top of the stem and on stalks from leaf axils. A grayish, velvety plant with erect leafy stems and with umbels of star-like pinkish flowers in upper axils and at top. Sap milky. Blooming from May through September.
Monarch Butterfly larvae appear to feed exclusively on milkweeds in the genus Asclepias. In the Midwest, milkweeds were historically common and widespread on prairies, but habitat destruction has reduced their range and numbers.
Filed under: Native Focus | Tagged: monarch butterfly, native plants | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 20, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
More than 3,700 Twin Falls homes are irrigated with canal water that runs through a public pressurized system. But for those of you who reside in areas of town where you must use drinking water for irrigation, here are some tips and reminders to help you irrigate more efficiently.
* You are limited by city ordinance to watering to three days a week before 10am and after 5pm. The purpose is to limit the amount of evaporation that would take place during the hottest times of the day. If you do not live in Twin Falls ID, please check your local requirements.
* Lawn experts estimate that most of us use about 50% too much water to irrigate our yards. You can conserve water and save money in the process by using a tuna can to measure how much water you use each week. Altogether you should use only about an inch per week, though up to an inch and a half if you have sandy soil.
* Water only once or twice a week for longer periods. This encourages deeper root growth of your bluegrass which makes it more
drought-resistant. But be careful that you’re not watering too much and creating run-off.
* Install a newer design of sprinkler nozzle that disseminates larger water droplets. This design can decrease evaporation by up to 40 percent.
Our preferred method of conserving our most valuable resource? Install plants native to your area and you will greatly reduce the amount of water needed to keep a beautiful landscape, as the photo above shows. CSR offers a native turf mix.
Filed under: education | Tagged: saving water | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 19, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Stream restoration sites along the Silver Creek are showing positive results from a re-vegetation planting. As these native sedges, rushes and willows continue to grow, invasive weeds are pushed out of the system.
These newly installed trees will provide shade, nesting opportunities, and wildlife habitat for a variety of species.
Filed under: Construction, Restoration | Tagged: habitat | Leave a Comment »