The Pine Tree Project

30 Jun 2011 06:39 #3234 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic The Pine Tree Project
I got this photo when I was there on Tuesday.

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30 Jun 2011 16:25 #3241 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic The Pine Tree Project
@GWilky: yep the Thuthumi valley has a significant number of pines, way more than 15. See some pics in the "Alien invasion" thread mentioned at the top. This might be the venue for the next VE Berg trip.

The worst cases that I have seen so far in the UDP are Wonder Valley and Hlatikhulu in the Monks Cowl area. What will hopefully happen there is that EKZNW will get assistance from Working for Water to tackle the bulk. We will then be called on to tackle the remaining, isolated trees which are difficult to access (like on steep slopes or cliff edges), which may involve some ropework.

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

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12 May 2012 09:23 - 12 May 2012 09:26 #53834 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic The Pine Tree Project
Three weeks ago I had an opportunity to see some of the pines in the Mhwlazini Valley on the way to Keith Bush Camp again. These we had tackled on the VE Berg trip in March 2011. We ring-barked the ones that are visible from the trail because they were too big to cut down. Many smaller trees were cut down but these are only apparent when you are right by them. Ring-barking pines is effective but it takes times. We tried as much as possible to ring-bark about a meter of bark and leave as much of the base of the tree exposed to the sun as possible. See the comparison picture below to see the progress. The shots are taken near junction M1 where you leave the contour and head up towards KBC. The ring-barking is evident as the bright yellow sections at the base of the trees. The smaller tree on the extreme right shows the most progress and is definitely dying. All of them are looking yellow. Hopefully in another year the progress will be even further.


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

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Last edit: 12 May 2012 09:26 by intrepid.
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, plouw, Lorenzo

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14 May 2012 00:56 #53838 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic The Pine Tree Project
Good documentation. It is also interesting to see how much drier the vegetation is, the volume of water in the river is also significantly lower this year. It is though a month difference.

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14 May 2012 09:52 #53855 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic The Pine Tree Project
@ST: things are definitely drier this year.

It may be tempting to think that the pines are subsequently drier too. But, they are evergreens, and in comparison with the other pines I saw on that trip, for example the three left at KBC, these definitely are looking pale and unwell. Still, I wish there was some way to speed up the process, short of cutting down or poisoning. Input welcome.

An interesting comparison, some pines were ring-barked a while back around the Champagne Castle Hotel, and close to the KZN Wildlife offices. These show very little progress. This could be attributed to insufficient ring-barking (only 20-30cm as opposed to 1m+), as well as dense shade (protection from drying out in the sun) and close proximity to lots of water.

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

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14 May 2012 11:11 #53864 by Boerkie
Replied by Boerkie on topic The Pine Tree Project
What about using a cordless drill, drilling a hole with a downward angle and a injecting suitable poison?

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14 May 2012 12:55 #53865 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic The Pine Tree Project
We're not allowed to use poison because it will find its way into the water eventually and this is a big consideration within the park. I've heard water contamination is becoming a general problem for Working For Water too. Poison is needed for wattle, which we currently do not have permission to do. We can tackle pines because they are easy to identify and can be killed mechanically. Thankfully I'm not aware of wattle problem high up in the remote valleys like the pines are. The wattle that I've seen is in the lower, easily accessible areas where a more formal task team can tackle them.

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

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20 Jun 2012 22:01 - 20 Jun 2012 22:04 #54454 by Sterkhorn
Replied by Sterkhorn on topic The Pine Tree Project
Some good news - the pine up Leslies Pass has changed.Before,and...
After

Don't know who did it, but it seems to have worked.

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Last edit: 20 Jun 2012 22:04 by Sterkhorn.
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21 Jun 2012 06:27 #54458 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic The Pine Tree Project
Were there signs of ringbarking? We've come across a couple of dead pines too...no explanation of how they died..possibly lightning or some disease.

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

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21 Jun 2012 06:43 #54460 by diverian
Replied by diverian on topic The Pine Tree Project
Not responsible for this one

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