06-27-14 Field Note

Despite the days of heavy rainfall, the field crew planted 1290 shrubs and trees last week. We noticed evidence of disease in some western larch saplings, and both native and invasive plants showed strong growth after the rain.

Posted on 6/27/2014 by Beau Larkin

Habitat Types: 


MPG North Field Note Planting Shrubs and Trees, Larch Needle-Cast Disease, Flowers and Weeds 26 June 2014, MPG Operations, Beau Larkin3
planting areas
Table 1 - We planted nine species in four locations this year. Deciduous shrub species comprised the majority of planted stock.
The Entrance Pond planting area stretches from the water’s edge to the road. Over time, shrub and tree growth here will obscure the pond and give animals additional security. Several of the species chosen (mountain ash, serviceberry, chokecherry) will produce a berry crop that birds will use.
Mountain ash seedlings arrived as leafless yellow-green stems. All of the leaf growth shown here occurred in less than one week.
A few larch saplings in the NE Clearcut show signs of needle cast disease. The fungus Meria laricis causes this. Infection persists as long as wet weather continues and severe, repeated defoliation can kill the trees (Hagle et al. 2003). We will try a systemic fungicide application this year and learn if the pathogen indeed causes the observed defoliation. If the infection persists next year or infects more larch trees in the area, we should consider removing these saplings.
Beargrass blooms in the NE Clearcut. Few of these plants grow at this low elevation. Brown foliage suggested some problem until I noticed that the thick beargrass stands near Summit Lake all showed the same stressed leaves.
Fragrant queen’s cup lily (Clintonia uniflora) blooms in shady areas with moist soils.
Canada thistle stems proliferate in the soil disturbance caused by Columbian ground squirrels in Entrance Meadow (arrows). The field crew cut the stems shown here after I took the photo.