VE Berg trip

07 Oct 2010 18:34 #1890 by Klipspringer
Replied by Klipspringer on topic Re: VE Berg trip
Hey, I'm in!

as for the herbicides: drilling a 12mm dia hole at a 45° downward angle into the tree then filling it with diesel kills a tree right dead. And it is not even that expensive.

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07 Oct 2010 18:46 #1891 by domsmooth
Replied by domsmooth on topic Re: VE Berg trip
Bearing in mind that most trees set seed when they are about to die, using the diesel method is an inexpensive way, but not all the efficient when trying to deal with a potential seed bed issue. Cutting them down once and treating the stump (bearing in mind that we are in a world heritage site, and in most cases a drainage line) does require a slightly more advanced approach.

I am all for using diesel in a normal AIP when one is trying to just eradicate adults, but the long term revisiting requirements of this approach makes the initial cost implication somewhat superfluous... Sorry, call me a scientist manager who has to look at both angles...

Usually, I would be right behind the idea, and have on occasion suggested it to folk trying to eradicate wattle and Eucs from their property on a budget! In this instance though, felling the adult, and treating the stump is much more efficient long term. More work initially, but well worth the initial outlay, particularly if the chainsaws and appropriate herbicides can be sponsored.

Lets all help maintain the values for which the Berg was proclaimed a World Heritage Site

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08 Oct 2010 15:03 #1895 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: VE Berg trip
Always good to see a keen response on these kinds of issues. Seems like we are likely to be well over 12 (my own gang is around 6). A large group might be permitted given the purpose, and we'll need to manpower anyway...and we'll be carrying lots of stuff (I've seen heaps of people, adding up to more than 12) belonging to different groups heading for Keith Bush Camp before).

@ST2: domsmooth and I have seen some of the scary wattle at Vergelegen! Not sure if this is the best venue for the first of this kind of an event, in terms of its accessibility, and also we wouldn't even get to walk very far before encountering the growth?

On Thuthumi Pass we'll have our hands full with cutting pines...see pics in this thread . Might not even get everything done in one day.

Keith Bush Camp area may offer the best combination of camping space, some pines to cut, and litter to pick up. I think its important on this first event also to allow some space to have some fun and get to know each other. We could even scramble up Gatberg if we have time. Also been curious to follow the smuggling route coming down from Grays Pass - though not sure if time will allow for this. Between Gatberg and Hlatikhulu the route leaves the main trail and heads towards Zulu Cave. Not sure if it follows the Mhlwazini to Ndedema, or if it carries on straight to Culfargie. Haven't been to Eagle Gorge for quite some time, but my memory seems to think that there may be more pines down there too.

Here are 2 recent pics of the pines along the Mhlwazini (there are more, not visible on the pics):
{joomplu:393}{joomplu:394}

This is a shot of the many bags of compressed rubbish we collected in 2008, starting at Inkosazana cave, all the way down Grays Pass and down the valley. Mainly from smugglers. Note the old pair of Asolo boots on top of the sign - these we picked up in Ships Prow North Fork.
{joomplu:395}

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

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08 Oct 2010 21:30 #1900 by SeriousTribe2
Replied by SeriousTribe2 on topic Re: VE Berg trip
@ All

Because of the residual nature of diesel, and the amount necessary to kill a tree without using poison, there is potential for further environmental damage. Very little poison is neccessary to treat even mature trees.

I am still keen, and can try for sponsorship of the correct poisons (Triclon etc) either from a known supplier, or I might be able to request funds from the committee of our Conservancy.

Just need a date.

@ Intrepid. Vergelegen is daunting. I noticed on our last trip thru that some large pines in three fairly difficult to access positions had been treated, so some effort is going in.
A large amount of wattle is growing on the river banks and within 50m of the watercourse which creates difficulties with the use of poisons.

Areas like Thuthumi and Mhlwazini are also a little more spectacular.

I think comment form EKZN would be appropriate for any proposed treatment within the wilderness area due to its heritage status. Hopefully we can avoid too much red tape and bereaucratic indecision though !

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10 Oct 2010 08:33 - 10 Oct 2010 08:34 #1907 by Serious tribe
Replied by Serious tribe on topic Re: VE Berg trip
Perhaps you could use the cut timber rounds as chairs at keith bush camp, depending how far they are from the camp. Or stock pile it and inform the authorities, perhaps they could use it for anti erosion measures, or even to bolster up sections of the path.
Last edit: 10 Oct 2010 08:34 by Serious tribe.

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15 Nov 2010 20:49 #2034 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: VE Berg trip
So, KZN Wildlife are really supportive of this initiative and some of the staff may even join us! Can we confirm the date then - long weekend in March (19-21)? And Monk's Cowl, Keith Bush Camp seems like the ideal venue, yes?

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

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16 Nov 2010 07:45 #2036 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Re: VE Berg trip
You really need a thumbs-up emoticon but I'll just have to settle for this one instead: :woohoo:

Count me and a few friends in. Those pines don't stand a chance!

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16 Nov 2010 07:52 #2037 by diverian
Replied by diverian on topic Re: VE Berg trip
Keen to join, have own small chainsaw and am up for the challenge of carrying it in!!

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16 Nov 2010 09:07 #2038 by ClimbyKel
Replied by ClimbyKel on topic Re: VE Berg trip
I cannot believe I am going to go kill trees. Please just don't tell any of my family or friends from Canada. I'm in! Glad there is such a great response to this event.

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17 Nov 2010 11:27 #2039 by MK9
Replied by MK9 on topic Re: VE Berg trip
Count me in. Invasive pines 0 : Indigenous vegetation 1

This will require the serious buy-in of KZN wildlife, their approval of this clearing is important.
I agree with SeriousTribe2: KZN wildlife should advise us of the preferred clearing/poison method.

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