helenh(z6 SW MO)December 28, 2011

Since our forum is slow, I thought I'd say something to stir up things. On the news tonight was something about the MCD introducing elk. White tail deer are small animals and the hunters go for the big ones reducing their numbers. I am not in favor of introducing elk because I don't want to hit one or meet one in the woods. I don't know enough about the subject to even comment. Maybe the Mark Twain areas need them for tourism. I do like the turkeys they introduced but hope the elk are not that successful.

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helenh(z6 SW MO)

moving this down. Can you believe the weather forecast for the first week of the year? I hope it doesn't change.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 12:44PM
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Helen, I don't know enough about elk to have an opinion but I am always a little leery of re-introduction of anything. There is a reason why they are gone so how do we replicate the habitat back to what they were comfortable with....can 't be done. I keep thinking Johnson Grass, Multiflora Rose and those weren't good.

We are enjoying this good weather too. I should really try to mow one more time! I have a lot of fescue in my grasses.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 7:56AM
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I mowed the lawn yesterday! Mostly to chop up the leaves that were still there, but it actually needed mowing too.

I don't object to re-introducing the elk, but I don't know a lot about their habitat so until I research it some, I can't say for myself whether it might be a good or bad thing. The natural predators are mostly gone, just like they are for the deer (wolves, cougars) so keeping the population in check might be touchy. I don't know if we would ever see one anyway as I think they would be mostly in natural areas, like the black bear. Never seen one of those, either, in Missouri tho I know they are here. Oh wait I take that back, I saw one 20 yrs or so ago in Mark Twain Nat'l Forest, in the southeast part of the state.

We'll never get rid of multiflora rose. That isn't even a native, it comes from China and was deliberately introduced by a conservation effort that was misguided--like a lot of their "introductions". Like Russian olive in Michigan, it turned into a nightmare.

Happy New Year! Blessings on the baby year, that it's better than the last one!


    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 11:31AM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Sandy, what is the objection to Russian Olive? We had one in Chicago which was glorious (we didn't plant it) and I have tried to raise them here (trees), but they have just been too slow growing. Why were they not considered good trees?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 2:14PM
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Russian olive can be extremely invasive. Even worse is it's cousin autumn olive, which is actually the one that was introduced by conservation districts in Michigan. It seeds very easily, and forms large colonies that replace native vegetation. It's thorny, and there is hardly any place it won't grow except in water or deep shade. Cutting it down doesn't kill it, it just prunes it. I grew up on a farm in Michigan, and when we stopped by there a few years ago, it was solid in the former fields. It had been planted as fence rows in the 70's,and now there is very little else.

Kind of like what is happening with the callery pear, here. (Bradford pears and their kin.) They aren't supposed to have seed, but they do, reverting to the wild form and spreading into the woods and fields here. There are maybe a dozen or so in the field behind me what have just sprung up from nowhere in the last few years. Beautiful, but tough, thorny and produce millions of seed. Missouri Conservation encourages people to cut them down if they find them on their property to stop the spread of this invasive tree.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 8:31PM
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