In an ecosystem the greatest change happens on the edge of the system.
THE EDGE EFFECT
When our "Built World" comes up against our "Natural World" we draw an artificial line between Ours and Everything Else... and that line immediately begins to bend and fracture in unplanned ways.
Trees on the edge of North Creek Forest often blow down. When our Built World creates an artificial edge, trees are exposed to the full force of storms and the edge begins to collapse.
What happened to our straight line? Would we notice this edge effect if the trees landed on our house? Most stewardship and restoration would not be necessary if our lines stayed where we drew them, but they don't.
BEYOND THE EDGE
What soon happens is a leaking of Ours into Everything Else.
Here is a car battery on the edge of North Creek Forest. Full of acid and lead, it rests in a spring flowing into North Creek. North Creek supports endangered Chinook Salmon. Those salmon feed endangered Killer Whales in Puget Sound.
Where did our line go?
The car, probably full of oil and gasoline, was an intentional breech of the line. Less intended, or likely not cared about, is the inevitable impact on salmon and on Puget Sound.
"The Holly and the Ivy", once planted in someone's yard, has jumped over the line and is now a serious threat to parts of North Creek Forest. The oil, gasoline, acid, lead, holly and ivy will continue to spread and do more harm until we restore the Natural World within the boundaries of North Creek Forest.
Poised for removal...
English Holly spreads exponentially. Each holly fruit (berry) has 3-4 seeds. A mature holly tree can produce 100,000 seeds. The fruit is eaten by birds. In time one English holly tree can create thousands more trees, each producing their own fruit and seeds.
Holly can grow so thick it blocks out light to other plants. Instead of cedar trees sprouting up to replace their aging elders you get... holly. Rich and diverse wildlife habitat is slowly destroyed.
40' holly (left and right) poised for frilling...
These holly trees (right) are over 40' high. Their potential for seed dispersal is huge.
Our stewardship goal is to remove English Holly from North Creek Forest.
Shoots under 1 inch in diameter will be pulled up or cut off at the ground and a drop of herbicide will be applied to the cut. Trees over 1 inch will be "frilled" with drops of herbicide placed in the cuts, thus leaving a standing habitat feature while native undergrowth can fill in. These are scientific "best methods" for English holly control.
This is what "friling" looks like.
STEWARDSHIP AND EDUCATION
Please join us for:
1. a holly removal party at 9:00 AM Saturday Jan 19th.
OR... we offer a menu... :)
2. support UWREN students with their senior capstone restoration project: from blackberries to forest..
Same goal: to restore the ecological function of North Creek Forest.
You are appreciated.
BBQ this Saturday
Please join us.
Much of our work is made possible by a grant from THE ROSE FOUNDATION.
Thank You, Friends of North Creek Forest