Despite the fog and misty rain fall we decided to head up to Leigh
Was delighted to see the results of yesterday’s group weeding session on Julie Turner’s property (see before and after photographs below taken a week apart).
Met with Trish and we spent another 1 1/2 weeding as well as splitting and planting carex and a few other varieties of wetland plants.
The afternoon was spent weeding with Trish on Sir Duncan McMullin’s property for 1 1/2 hours (refer photograph) and then Chris and I planted about 60 plants (grown at our home nursery) on our wetland area and bordering the stream. Did some brief weeding on the Dingle’s property. The plants are thriving.
A big thank you to our trusty band of volunteers Richard Taylor, Trish Gundy, Jo Evans, Sue Gibbings, Neil Sutherland and Cheryl Sutherland who worked from 9.30am – 12.00 today clearing weed’s on the corner of Tenetahi and Pakiri Rds. Was all geared up to join them but slipped on a rotting camellia flower while walking to work and put my back out!
The area is now looking fabulous and there are some really healthy specimens thriving in the fertile soil. The next plan is to spray the area then fill the gaps by splitting and planting some existing plants. Keeping the cattle away from the fence is a priority before they knock it over completely.
After heavy rainful the night before, we were uncertain whether the planting day on Arthur and Trish Gundy’s place would go ahead. However the skies cleared and we had the most successful planting days to date. Over 800 wetland plants were planted in 3 1/2 hours thanks to 28 volunteers including local residents and the Gundy’s family members. After lunch a few enthusiastic members spent 30 minutes weeding Julie Turner’s fenced wetland area where kikuya was threatening to smother a number of the plants. Unfortunately, the cows have been rubbing against the fence and it has developed rather a lean. The cows have also been feasting on plants bordering the fence. What were once healthy cabbage trees now look more like the tops of pineapples! There is a high risk of the fence falling over if this continues and we might have to consider installing an electric fence.
A big thanks to Arthur and Trish for hosting such a successful planting day and for providing a delicious BBQ lunch.
Thanks also to the Auckland Council who funded the 800 plants.
Due to forecast rain on the 8th August, the TFS planting day with Takapuna Normal Intermediate, on Noeline Wainwright’s property, was postponed until Thursday, the 15th August. We were devastated to learn from Shelly, the TFS co-ordinator, that the cows had managed to get hold of about 300 cabbage trees and carex.
Fortunately, the roots of many of the chewed plants were still in tact so we planted them and hope the pruning will kick them into action.
The rain held off and the children and volunteers planted approximately 600 wetland plants. Many thanks to Takapuna Normal Intermediate and our volunteers, Arthur and Trish Gundy, Neil and Cheryl Sutherland. Thanks also to Linda Lee for organising a delicious lunch and to Noeline for hosting the day and supporting the project.
This ended up being one of the most straight-forward plant transporting days we have had.
It occurred to me that Noelene Wainwright’s 4WD might be available and she kindly obliged so Chris was able to drive all the plants down to the site.
Noelene said this wouldn’t have been possible if it had been wet. Sue Gibbings turned up. She is a very organised person and we had the plants counted and sorted in just over an hour. Chris managed to dig about 120 holes. There were fewer plants than last year (approx 800 excluding the rejects). There were very few manuka. The caretaker of Takapuna Intermediate told me that most of these plants died after he replaced the batteries on the automatic watering system and they turned out to be duds. Manuka are vulnerable at the best of times and they didn’t enjoy not being watered for three days in a very hot school playground!
It has been some time since this site has been updated.
An intensive weeding effort took place on 28 March and 29 March 2013 (5 hours in total) to eradicate an established growth of moth plant on Mt Pleasant Drive. The pods were removed and bagged and the area sprayed. Follow-up management will be required.
There have been fewer formal weeding/planting days since Easter due to study and family commitments until a week ago.
Monday 15 July – Trish and I weeded at the top of the catchment area for 2 1/2 hours, split carex and replanted along the stream.
Wednesday 17 July – Trish, Anita, Anita’s friend Charlotte and I weeded for 3 hours and planted seedlings grown by Arthur. The girls scaled the waterfall and removed tradescantia.
Thursday, 18 July – I met with an Auckland Council representative to discuss the major weed problem along the paper road at the bottom of Tenetahi Rd. From 2.30 – 4.00pm Trish, Anita, Charlotte and I cleared weeds on the Dingle’s wetland area and removed all but one of the weed bags. From 2.30 – 4.00pm, we continued planting at the top of the valley.
Friday, 19 July Trish and I couldn’t resist spending another two hours in the valley, splitting carex and clearing a pathway towards the waterfall.
All in all a very productive four days.
We located some rather large centipedes in the valley.
An advertisement for Palmers?
The waterfall at the top of the valley has stopped flowing and the stream bed is dry after nearly two months of no decent rainfall in the area.
Trish and I weeded for three hours at the top of the valley in the more aptly named dry-land rather than wetland area.
The weeds came out quite easily and we filled one of the large black weed bags in no time at all.
In the afternoon Jo Evans and I met with Darryll Hollamby, a roading engineer and technical services support person for the paper roads in the Rodney area.
The responsibility for weed control on council owned paper roads has been passed around a bit and, according to Darryll, there is next to no money available to manage these areas of land.
We showed him the area of concern and he said he would endeavour to look into the problem but made no promises that funding would be made available.
In sharp contrast to last summer, there has been very little rain and a total fire ban has been put in place. It was too hot to do much weeding during the day so Chris and I set off early in the morning to attack privet and moth plant on McMullin’s property. Our war against privet in other areas of the valley has been extremely successful with lots of regeneration evident.
Sue Crawshay from Trees for Survival carried out her annual inspection of the plants and was impressed with the healthy specimens. We look forward to working with Trees for Survival again during 2013 on McMullin’s, Wainwright’s and Wyatt’s properties.
Despite advanced spraying, bind weed has again taken hold of the plants in the wetland area on our property and within the valley. Further hand releasing was carried out and follow-up spraying will be necessary.
Unfortunately something has attacked the weedbags which were located in the Dingle’s wetland area. It is uncertain as to whether birds, rats or a pig have made numerous holes in the bags. I contacted the manufacturer who was interested in the feedback which will assist him with product development. The holes were sealed with masking tape and some of the bags have been shifted to the Watkinson’s property where a major weeding effort is taking place.
Our application to fence Wyatt’s property has been successful and a further application is underway for wetland plants for the Gundy’s wetland area and the valley.
The trees planted in April on the Dingle’s wetland area are thriving (and so are the weeds). When I visited the area a few weeks ago, the trees were all visible but there had been a burst of spring weed growth and you could barely find the plants. Thanks to Sue Gibbings and Jo Evans meticulous weeding efforts, the plants are now cleared and ready for spraying.
Chris planted another 30 flaxes kindly donated by A1 Landscaping Services and also sprayed McMullin’s property. The trees are also thriving – with a 95% survival rate.
This was our first planting effort for several months and we were determined to plant the 500 trees left over from the Trees for Survival planting day which had been nurtured at the Takapuna Intermediate school nursery. Many thanks to Keith, Richard, Arthur, Anna and Soxi (two university students from the Leigh Marine Laboratory) who assisted on Saturday pm. Anna and Soxi were the most energetic and enthusiastic volunteers we have had to date and we were amazed at their level of fitness and how quickly they worked.
Unfortunately a lot of time was wasted digging through the kikuya which should have been sprayed several weeks ago. Despite the wet winter, the soil was surprisingly dry in parts.
Trish arrived on Sunday morning along with her grandson Damian and his friend Scott (two delightful young men) who worked hard and transported all the trees down to the wetland area, saving our poor aging knees. We managed to plant all the remaining trees on Sunday afternoon and this morning thanks to Keith’s dogged determination and Chris’s assistance with the weedeater. Our backs and knees were certainly feeling it by the time we had finished. The next job will be releasing the previously planted trees which are being strangled by kikuya and many other varieties of weeds.