Thursday, August 18, 2016

Blowdowns Vs Birchbank Deer Exclosure

Mother Nature can be so rude. We set up a deer exclosure near the Birchbank trailhead last year to show hikers the impacts of deer browsing on our native vegetation.

BEFORE: Deer exclosure installation 2015 (click to enlarge)
We were already starting to see some important differences between the two sides of the fence this summer, with a shrub called Bladdernut chewed up outside the fence and growing well inside the fence. And then BAM! a multitree blowdown crushed the deer fence and the bladdernut.

AFTER: Blowdown crushes the deer fence
There wasn't even any wind. Best we can tell, the trees were loaded with swelling grapes, with the first falling tree taking out several others. It was a mess, blocking the trail in addition to crushing the deer fence. 

This is the trail near the deer exclosure

Deer exclosure cleared out, fence back up

Time was of the essence to clear this up, before the plants beneath the blowdown died. Not sure if we entirely succeeded in saving the plants, but the deer fence is back up and the path is clear. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Rich for cutting up the tree tops across the trail so people can get thru - good timing.