Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘tree planting’

Volunteers needed!

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Since 2009, we’ve been active in helping to restore wildlife habitat to a former golf course in lower Cape May County. In place of the large lodge on the site we are building a “Backyard Habitat Demonstration Site.” It will feature several different habitat treatments that homeowners can use to provide habitat for wildlife in their own backyards. It includes the creation of scrub-shrub habitat, forested habitat, nectar producing plants, wildflower meadows, a pond, and a brush pile.

The site was designed by landscape designer Jeanne Marcucci with greenjean gardens LLC. Last week the site was prepped by NJ Fish & Wildlife. After the site was plowed we laid out paths that run throughout the site. Next compost will be spread to some areas (wildflower beds) and plants will be delivered on October 9th. The team at Planet Earth Landscaping will be assisting us the the compost spreading and planting.

Volunteers are needed to help plant the many native plants that were ordered on October 10-11th from 10-2pm each day. For more information or to volunteer contact Ben Wurst.

The site where 2,700 native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses will be planted for wildlife near Villas, NJ.

Photo from the field

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Planting trees for wildlife and people!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Volunteers helped plant over 200 tree seedlings last week at a former golf course in Cape May, NJ. © Ben Wurst

For the past 3 years Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ has been working to restore habitat at an old golf course in lower Cape May County. We have concentrated on reforesting many of the old fairways at the site, now known as Cape Island Wildlife Management Area. This past week we planted around 300 native tree seedlings from Pinelands Nursery there. All of the species planted will benefit wildlife by providing food and cover. It will increase biodiversity and reduce fragmentation of forested habitat. We planted white and scarlet oak, pitch pine, gray birch, bayberry, serviceberry, persimmon, beach plum, and tulip poplar. Seedlings are protected by tree tubes (help reduce light browse by deer and rabbits) and weed mats (reduce competition from cool season grasses) to help increase survival rates.

Trees also benefit you and I. They capture carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Planting trees is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. They can reduce heating and cooling costs if planted around your home. They can also help increase your home’s property value. Fall is the best time to plant trees. When planting a tree make sure to dig the hole twice as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Plant to a depth where the collar of the truck is not below ground level. Amend the soil if necessary and only put up to 2″ of mulch against the trunk. Here are my picks for best native trees to plant for wildlife (and you) in your yard:

Shade trees: Sweet gum (awesome fall foliage!), tulip poplar (great pyramidal shape when mature, great shade tree), oak spp. (produce acorns and good shade trees, scarlet oaks have stunning fall foliage). Plant these on the south side of your house to reduce cooling costs in summer.

Conifers: red cedar (good wind break, dense cover for wildlife, provide berries for songbirds), american holly (beautiful red berries in winter, good cover for wildlife from heavy snow). Plant these along the NW side of your house to act as a windbreak from cold winter winds.

Watch a video clip about our work at Ponderlodge that was featured on NJTV on September 22.

A Future Forest for Hillsborough

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Restoring valuable wildlife habitat in northern new jersey

By MacKenzie Hall, Private Lands Biologist

A row of trees wait to be planted. © MacKenzie Hall

Last week, a park in Hillsborough Township got a makeover.  Following “a shave and a haircut,” more than seven acres of fallow farmland were planted with 1,500 native trees and shrubs.

This afforestation is the latest partnership between Hillsborough and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation to improve wildlife habitat on township-owned lands.  The park (on Wertsville Road between Montgomery & Long Hill Rds) sits on the northern edge of the Sourland Mountains, which hold significant values to forest wildlife, migratory songbirds, human residents and recreationists.  Our project will extend this forest cover and all of its benefits.

Elliot Hodge helps out on planting day. © MacKenzie Hall

We selected 25 different native tree & shrub species with a variety of things in mind…for example:

  • Red, white, black, and chestnut oaks will produce acorns, a great food source for many animals;
  • White pines grow densely to shelter wildlife in winter;
  • Hackberry and sassafras are larval food sources for certain types of butterflies;
  • Tulip poplars grow quickly and are loved by bees;
  • Shagbark hickories are important bat roosts in summer;
  • Elderberry, bayberry, and dogwoods produce fruit to fuel migrating songbirds as well as animals who winter here.

Volunteer John Muth settles a young white pine into its new home. © MacKenzie Hall

While the trees are in the ground, this project is still “in progress.”  The next step is to install temporary fencing to protect the saplings from deer browse.  We’ll also have to fight the invasive plants – like autumn olive and multiflora rose – that grew so heartily at the site before. And lastly, we still have 150 trees and shrubs to plant at the neighboring Otto’s Farm Park.  Please contact me (908-782-4614 x 104) if you want to help!

A huge “THANKS!” goes out to Conservation Resources, Inc. for funding a large part of this restoration, to the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s NJ Partners for Fish and Wildlife program for donating 1,000 of the trees and shrubs, to the D&R Greenway Land Trust nursery and Pinelands Nursery for their beautiful plant products, to Hillsborough Township for investing in their local wildlife, and to the 20 volunteers who helped with the tree planting.