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Is this a wild harvest or rescue operation?

Posted by squirrel_girl 5 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 3, 07 at 13:30

I have access to a grass landing strip that gets mowed every 2-3 weeks. Currently, there are small ferns and milkweed popping their heads above the grass. The mower will be coming soon to chop them down. With owner permission, would it be acceptable to transplant some to my house?

If it is ethical and the owners give permission, do you have any tips for a newbie?

Any other natives I should scout for if I'm out there? 80+ acres of midwestern mowed field bordered by forests and fields. I won't harvest anything that is not in the mower's path.

Thank you for your opinions and advice.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is this a wild harvest or rescue operation?

Number one suggestion fill in the hole after you dig.
Number two and three thank the owner both before and after you dig. Ask if the owners would like some of the plants. Maybe near the entry for any using the field.

I do not think the fern like plants are a fern but a small tansey or feverfew plant.

This is techically a wild harvest but one of these days the owner may pave then it would be a rescue. If you have a wild plant expert?? in your area see if they could review the field for special plants.


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RE: Is this a wild harvest or rescue operation?

The fern type thing may also be yarrow, which is not a native. The previous two postings have great advice, but I would consider it a rescue as these plants WILL not be allowed to grow much and probably will be smashed by any planes that land there, right? We often rescue along ATV trails (with permission) because the odds are high that the plants will be crushed. And, we rescue along roadsides that are constantly cut back every summer. And always with permission. Good advice about filling up the holes if there will be no bulldozer work.


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RE: Is this a wild harvest or rescue operation?

Thank you for your opinions and suggestions. I've thought about it, and I don't think I'm going to dig them up. The mower won't be killing the milkweed, and the caterpillars can still feed from them even if they never flower. The possibility of pavement or getting smashed by a plane are remote in this circumstance. A mower is the only real danger these plants have.

I think I was just tempted by a dozen flowers and ferns that "needed" rescue.

Thank you for your thoughts and I'm so glad this forum is here to help me think about my impact on nature.


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RE: Is this a wild harvest or rescue operation?

It's impossible to transplant milkweeds as their taproot runs very deep. Best scenario would be to ask the owner to allow a few patches of milkweed to mature here and there...then you can collect seeds!...


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