Last year it was western red cedar, this year it’s black spruce. This week staff at UNBC’s IK Barber Enhanced Forestry Lab, sowed over 2000 black spruce seeds for ALRF. When they are ready in 3 months, the seedlings will be planted on wet soils within Block 22 this spring as a demonstration site for species diversity. Stay tuned as we post updates on the seedlings as they grow in the greenhouse!
Marsh plume thistle (Cirsium palustre), listed as a noxious weed in BC’s Central Interior by the Invasive Plant Council of BC, is showing it’s presence in ALRF’s harvest areas. The plant grows in moist locations and competes with native plants and crop trees. A containment program for this purple-flowered plant is currently underway in the Central Interior aimed at preventing its expansion. According to the IPCBC the most effective way to limit the spread of the species is by cutting the plants down before they go to seed. Other methods such as biological controls and herbicides are in development.
Last summer, several harvest areas on the Research Forest were surveyed for invasive plants and several species were found in varying quantities. This provides excellent baseline information to help ALRF monitor increases and decreases in the diversity and abundance of invasive plants and to implement strategies for managing them.
The larch seedlings, sown in December, are now happily in the ground at Aleza Lake Research Forest where they can be observed and measured for many years to come.
The process started with watering the seedlings throughly and carfeully pulling them out of the styroblocks (“hot” lifted, meaning they were not forced into dormancy through refrigeration), bundling and wrapping them in clear plastic. After culling out some of the dead and weaker trees, a little more than 2400 seedlings were prepared for planting.