The Pine Tree Project

19 Nov 2018 19:39 #74236 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project

A slope before and after a visit from Macc and Richard..

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19 Nov 2018 19:41 - 19 Nov 2018 20:20 #74237 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
MCSA KZN section has donated us 2 ropes, and 2 sets of access equipment for use on the slopes and tricky pines... Thanks very much to the committee for this support..
Last edit: 19 Nov 2018 20:20 by Papa Dragon.
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08 Feb 2019 11:56 #74633 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Hi guys

Next Pine hike is on the 8th to 10th March.

Eagle Cave, and Stable Cave..

Please let me know if you are  keen to join

Papa D

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10 Feb 2019 18:12 #74636 by Gkotzee
Replied by Gkotzee on topic The Pine Tree Project
Dear Papa

I'd like to help, when is your next expedition?

I'm a sucker for lost causes.

Cheers

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10 Feb 2019 18:13 #74637 by Gkotzee
Replied by Gkotzee on topic The Pine Tree Project
sorry, now I see it's 8 march, where are you going and how do I join up?

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10 Feb 2019 21:15 #74638 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Howzit Gerhard

Yes, Friday 8 March, to Sunday 10th,, Monk's Cowl area
Thanks for your interest!!
PM me with your phone number, and I'll add you to the whatsapp group.

Cheers

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27 Feb 2019 09:46 #74690 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project

Papa Dragon wrote: Hi guys

Next Pine hike is on the 8th to 10th March.

Eagle Cave, and Stable Cave..

Please let me know if you are  keen to join

Papa D

Guys, we're a bit thin on the ground this time, so anyone keen to join, pm me with your phone number and I will add you to the whatsapp group.. 

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07 May 2019 16:14 #74998 by Dave
Replied by Dave on topic The Pine Tree Project
Hiking to Keith Bush Camp, I noticed some infestations at the head of the Wonder and Sterkspruit Valleys and in the Mhlwazini Valley above the crossing to Intunja.















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08 May 2019 01:21 #75001 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic The Pine Tree Project
Thanks for posting Dave.

The ones in the Hlatikhulu/Sterkspruit are a pretty bad infestation, with some substantial, dense clusters. As VE we only did a little bit of work on those, in a small area which we called "Hlatikhulu South Slope" ( detailed trip report ). We intentionally avoided the dense clusters as we anticipated then already that the government-funded teams would eventually get to those and that it would be a better allocation of resources/labour for us to work on less dense areas around it. We never did any follow up area in our initial little project area there, and as we had anticipated, some work by the government-funded teams has already been done there.

I took this photo in 2016. You can clearly see the dead trees that have been treated (these used to be healthy trees like in your photos). Our initial "Hlatikhulu South Slope" project area is to the left of the very dense, red-coloured cluster, you can make out some dead trees on the grassy slopes with the lighter shade of green (and most of those dead trees were not treated by us). KZN Wildlife's progress in the Monk's Cowl is looking really positive and no doubt they know about the nearby dense cluster shown in your photographs. Hopefully they will get to those.


The ones in the Mhlwazini were the very first ones we tackled as VE in 2011 - this is were the "Pine Tree Project" was born. We did a follow up trip there in 2015 during which several adult trees were treated, along with about 360 smaller trees which had sprung up since 2011! In 2015 we probably removed in the order of 80-90% of the regrowth, so your final two photographs are showing what continued to grow since then along with what has grown up fresh. This is the reason we have to do follow up to our project sites, and it looks like Mhlwazini is due for another visit!

Here is a repost of post #67309 of this thread for interest:

intrepid wrote: Progress of the pines in the upper Mhlwazini which can be see on the way to Keith Bush Camp. The is the
hallmark of VE's pine tree work - where it all began.



In 2015 we literally still treated hundreds of saplings which had sprung up after the initial treatment in 2011.


Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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08 May 2019 19:31 #75005 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic The Pine Tree Project
Hi all,

Apologies for the tardy and brief report back on the last pine hike.

We worked in the area between Stable Cave and Makhulumane gorge, as planned, and had a reasonable attendance in the end, thanks to the guys for their commitment.. 
Some of us worked with ropes, harnesses, and access gear for this one, the site is in the gully down toward Eagle Gorge. Don't let unfamiliarity with this gear put you off though, there are still plenty work areas that can be accessed normally.
 
We did a total of 105 trees for the weekend, all of these just reaching maturity or larger.

An interesting observation by SingleSpeed, who has done a lot of research on the pines in these areas, is the difference in size between the 8 year old trees that we cut 2 years ago, and the 10 year old trees we cut now. I have asked him to post some pics etc..

We are making good headway in the areas that we are working in, but again we need to expand our work and areas..

Thanks again to the team

Papa D
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