Zone 11 Restoration
Goals for the restoration of this section of the park:
1. Restore healthy function to the forest. Invasive plants have blocked natives from their natural succession. Shade-tolerant evergreens are noticeably absent, as are many small herbaceous natives. Removing the invasives, mainly ivy and laurel, will allow the normal cycle to restart.
2. Accelerate the recovery. Shade-tolerant conifers will be planted, and common native perennials will be reintroduced.
3. Improve the soil with the addition of woody debris. All trees and branches that fall on the site will be retained, and some additional woody debris may be imported.
4. Improve wildlife habitat. A variety of plants will provide a greater variety of food sources and shelter, allowing more kinds of animals feel at home. Also, improving the structure of the woods, with low, medium, and tall plants will increase the functionality.
5. Create a visual screen to block the sight lines from the trail to the neighboring house. This will provide privacy to those residents and add to the feeling of being deep in the forest for park users.
6. Learn from the restoration of this section in order to make the restoration of the other 17 sections easier, more efficient, and better targeted. At completion, I will be asking, Are more animal species present in this zone? What methods worked and what methods failed? What destructive forces, i.e. dogs, children, wild animals, disrupted the restoration, and how might they be addressed in the future? Documenting the restoration, in text and photographs, will provide a basis for the restoration of the rest of the park.
Map, as of 2006.11.24 (Not very accurate, or to scale, but just to give a general overview of the plants and their relative positions.)
Species list, as of 2006.11.23
Big leaf maple
Betula papyrifera Paper birch
Corylus cornuta Hazelnut
Gaultheria shallon Salal
Holodiscus discolor Oceanspray
Polystichum munitum Sword fern
Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas-fir
Prunus emarginata Bitter cherry
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken fern
Rhododendron macrophyllum Pacific rhododendron (?)
Rosa gymnocarpa Bald-hip rose
Rubus parviflorus Thimbleberry
Smilacina racemosa False Solomon's Seal
Thuja plicata Western redcedar
Vaccinium parvifolium Red huckleberry
and these invasives:
Laurel Prunus laurocerasus
Holly Ilex aquifolium
Photos from before restoration. Each numbered picture has a description below. [map coordinates, compass direction of view]
1. At the north end, looking southwest at a newly planted cedar, salal, ivy, hazelnut, and maple trunks. [c-9, 240]
2. Same location as above, with a wider view. At the left side of the picture is an unknown evergreen shrub, most likely an exotic. [c-9, 240]
3. At the north end, looking west. Ivy, maple trunks, sword ferns, hazelnut. [c-9, 270]
4. North end, looking southwest. The small Douglasfir was planted in the spring of 2005, along with about 5 others, and it was the only one to survive. This zone is shadier than a Douglasfir would normally like. Also notice the dense mat of ivy blanketing everything. This ivy is smothering salal and ferns, and it is four to eight inches thick. [f-15, 210]
5. Looking south across the middle of this zone. Large maples create a fairly closed canopy in the summer, with just a few small windows of sunlight at mid-day. On summer afternoons, a little more sunlight angles through. In winter, the ivy gets plenty of light. Sword ferns do better in this area. [g-15, 180]
6. Looking south at the southern third of this zone. Hazelnut and sword fern dominate the area bounded by the trail switchback, actually crowding out the ivy. Just north of that was a large stand of laurel that was cut down in 2005 and is starting to come back. Several hemlocks were planted among those laurel stumps, and they all died, possibly due to the very dry summers or the lack of organic material in the soil. The cedars planted in the same area survived. [i-18, 180]
7. The hemlock in the foreground is on private property and was watered regularly. Also, woody debris was included in the planting hole to try to encourage the proper micarhyzal associations and to create the acidic, organic soil that hemlocks like. The large maple in the background is not in Zone 11, but it has a major impact on the zone. [i-19, 180]
8. This large maple in the middle of Zone 11 provides most of the canopy. It is a healthy, middle-aged maple without many dead branches or rotten spots. Ivy has been removed from its trunk several times in the past. The grand fir in the foreground is on private property. [i-19, 240]
9. At the southern tip of Zone 11, looking north at sword ferns and hazelnut. [p-18, 0]
10. A young cherry. Many of the older cherries are at the end of their life spans. [n-18, 90]
11. This cedar was planted about twenty years ago, along with half a dozen others nearby. I stood in front of it while the trail was being made to make sure it wasn't damaged by the heavy equipment. [n-18, 0]
12. This large maple, or cluster of maples, is just outside of Zone 11. Its canopy covers most of this little valley. Many of its branches are silvery white. It will continue to drop large branches in this area, and a major portion of this cluster may fall down at any time.[n-18, 330]
13. At the south end of Zone 11, looking east. Sword ferns and hazelnut dominate. [m-17, 90]
14. This area was thick with laurel, which is resprouting after being cut down. This is where the hemlocks and cedars were planted, with the hemlocks dying while the cedars survived. Up on the hill, north of Zone 11, is the old house. Many of the shade-tolerant evergreens planted in the park and on private property just north of the park were intended to provide a visual screen between the house and the trail, as well as restoration and habitat functions. [m-17, 0]
15. A young cedar and the old laurel that won't die. [m-17, 60]
16. Looking north from the middle of Zone 11. Over the top of the young cedar, you can see the old house. The cedar will screen it out in a decade or so. Also notice the giant hemlock on private property. It is about a hundred feet tall, and possibly ninety years old, but there are no seedlings from it, most likely because of the ivy, the dense brush, and the lack of woody debris. Half a dozen young hemlocks were planted in the area on the adjacent private property. [l-17, 20]
17. A better view of the giant hemlock. [l-17, 20]
18. Red huckleberry. [l-16, 0]
19. The trunk of the large maple in the middle of Zone 11. I cut away some ivy recently. Other than ivy, it is surrounded by sword ferns and hazelnut. The false Solomon seal is just north of this tree.. [l-16, 0]
20. There is some good, healthy salal in places. It has managed to dominate the ivy at times, although the ivy is still intertwined. It will be a challenge to remove the ivy without damaging the salal. [j-12, 60]
21. Looking southeast toward the middle of Zone 11. In the foreground is an oceanspray, and behind it is laurel. [i-10, 120]
22. Oceanspray seed head. [i-10, 120]
23. A leaning, dying cherry covered in ivy. I have asked the Parks Department for information on the silver tags, but I haven't gotten an answer. [i-10, 90]
24. Decadent cherries covered in ivy. The giant hemlock is in the background. [h-8, 40]
25. These two large maples are at the north end of Zone 11, near the top of the stairs. [f-6, 0]
26. This young cedar has suffered from park users going off the trail in this location, near the top of the stairs. It needs some protection. [f-6, 30]
27. Healthy salal.
28. This area has bracken fern. One thing to watch out for: once the ivy is removed, bracken fern may totally dominate the cleared area, making it difficult to start other plants. A decision will need to be made on whether to let the bracken fern run rampant or help the other natives get a fair start. [f-6, 30]
29. These two cedars are across the trail from Zone 11, near the top of the stairs. In spite of several mature cedars, there are no cedar seedlings other than the ones planted by volunteers. [f-6, 200]
30. One of two large paper birches. [f-6, 10]
31. The leaning birch relative to the two large maples. [f-5, 40]
32. This young Douglasfir is the only one in Zone 11. It is struggling to survive because of too much shade. Hopefully it will hang on until it breaks through the canopy and reaches the sun. [f-6, 10]
33. The birch tree's fall color. [f-6, 10]
34. Looking northeast across the middle of Zone 11 at the large maple and the giant hemlock on the adjacent private property. [j-12, 45]
35. Laurel near the middle of Zone 11. [j-12, 45]
36. Another small cedar being outpaced by the fast-growing laurel. [l-17, 10]
37. Looking westward across the southern tip of Zone 11. [o-20, 240]
38. Looking northwest into the middle of the zone. [o-20, 0]
2006.11.22 This section of the park (see the Zone map) is north and east of the trail, from the top of the stairs to the corner property marker. It is about a quarter of an acre. I have decided to focus my efforts on this section because it is small and manageable, and many good natives are struggling to survive in the blanket of ivy. The restoration work done prior to now includes the planting of 5 Douglasfirs, 10 cedars, and several hemlocks, as well as the removal of some laurel and cutting some ivy off of the major trees. All of the hemlocks, 3 of the Douglasfirs, and 3 of the cedars died within a year of being planted.
The good natives coming up in this area include a large, healthy Smilacina racemosa, which I have been aware of for at least a decade. I will provide a more complete list later, but the natives include a large paper birch, several large maples, several old cherries near the end of their lives and a few cherry saplings coming up, hazelnut, salal, wild rose, ferns, a medium-sized Douglasfir that is struggling under too much shade, some rhododenrons which may or may not be native, and vine maple.
The non-natives include a dense mat of ivy and a few remaining laurels. The tricky part about this area will be removing the ivy without hurting the native salal too much. Today, I planted three cedars, and worked on removing a circle of ivy around the false Solomon seal. It was tedious work because the mat of ivy is so thick and intertwined. I don't know if it was necessary, but I was careful not to damage the stems of the false Solomon seal.
I will be keeping track of the volunteer hours invested in this zone at the bottom of this page. I worked 2 hours today.
2006.11.25 I pulled ivy for three hours today. It is slow going because it is woven into the salal, and it needs to be cut out carefully. Also, this is an exceptionally dense mat. I've pulled a lot of ivy before, but this is the most stubborn I've encountered. This ivy will give back all of the nutrients and sunlight it has stolen because it will be composted in place, rather than being hauled out. The compost pile is about four feet tall now and growing.
I discovered a hawthorne tree, I think, probably a European variety. (Around f-9 on the map.) It is nearly dead, with many insect holes. I have a native hawthorne seedling that I can plant in its place.
Why am I doing this? I worked pretty hard today, for three hours, and I only cleared about 300 or 400 square feet. At this rate, it might take me another 60 hours of hard labor to clear this quarter acre. Even though it is slow going, I'd have to say I enjoy doing it. It involves me in the landscape. I am getting to know the details of this little section of the park, and discovering plants and situations that had escaped my attention before. Also, I enjoy getting my hands dirty. I like the feel of the soil, and ivy leaves a pleasant, spicy scent on my hands after working with it. Of course, the greatest reward will come when the invasives are gone and new natives are planted and thriving, but the process will be its own reward all along.
2006.12.02 Today was the salvage event near 37500 SE North Bend Way, Snoqualmie, for King County. From 9:30 to noon, everyone salvaged plants for King County restoration projects. From noon to 1:30 I salvage plants for Eagle Landing Park, including salmonberry, raspberry, and a western hemlock. The hemlock is about ten feet tall. I planted it at the location m-19 in zone 11. The contract landscapers had planted several hemlocks in this area, but they all died. When salvaging and planting this hemlock, I took an extra bucket full of the rotten stump and nearby soil where it was growing, and I included this organic material in the planting hole. Hopefully this will help the tree establish the proper mycorrhizal association necessary for survival. Also, the organic material will help retain moisture in the soil, helping the tree survive the dry summer months. Normally, I wouldn't try to transplant a ten foot tall hemlock, but since it was going to be bulldozed anyway, I figured there was nothing to lose in trying.
2006.12.10 Yesterday was the adopt-a-park volunteer event. 8 people spent three hours pulling ivy in zones 3, 4, and 16, around the eagle viewing area. I noticed that clematis is thriving in zone 3, so that will require some focused attention. Today I spent 3 hours in Zone 11, pulling ivy. What at first had looked like a solid patch of ivy is actually interlaced with salal, which makes the ivy removal trickier and slower. With the ivy removed, hopefully the salal will flourish and rapidly dominate the area, preventing ivy from getting back in.
2007.03.17 Although I'm not completely done pulling ivy, I want to start planting before the spring rains quit. Zone 11 is probably 80% free of ivy. The northern section hasn't been done, and the rest of the zone will need to be mopped up next winter. Today I planted snowberry, thimbleberry, and salmonberry.
2007.03.18 Below is a list of plants I planted in Zone 11 yesterday and today.
(3) Acer circinatum, vine maple
(2) Alnus rubra, alder
(1) Betula papyrifera, paper birch
(6) Camassia quamash
(1) Crateagus douglasii, Douglas hawthorn
(2) Juncus effusus, common rush
(1) Ribes sanguineum, red-flowering currant
(3) Rubus parviflorus, thimbleberry
(3) Rubus spectabilis, salmonberry
(4) Sambucus racemosa, elderberry
(3) Symphoricarpos albus, snowberry
(1) Taxus brevifolia, pacific yew
(1) Tellima grandiflora, fringecup
Zone 11 hours:
2006.11.22 2.0 hours. Weeding and planting.
2006.11.23 2.0 hours. Photographing and documenting.
2006.11.24 3.0 hours. Mapping and documenting.
2006.11.24 1.0 hour. Pulling ivy.
2006.11.25 3.0 hours. Pulling ivy.
2006.11.30 2.0 hours. Removing laurel, ivy, and holly.
2006.12.02 2.0 hours. Salvaging at Snoqualmie casino site, planting hemlock.
2006.12.10 3.0 hours. Pulling ivy.
2007.03.03 3.0 hours. Pulling ivy.
2007.03.04 3.0 hours. Pulling ivy.
2007.03.08 2.0 hours. Pulling ivy.
2007.03.11 2.0 hours. Pulling ivy.
2007.03.15 4.0 hours. Pulling ivy and transplanting vine maple.
2007.03.16 5.0 hours. Pulling ivy.
2007.03.17 1.0 hours. planting.
2007.03.18 3.0 hours. Planting.