Armand Bayou Nature Center 2

We have learned for the past few weeks how important it is to know and identify the plants that we cut down and herbicide. Knowing what to look for and even the texture of a tree or plant plays an important role to conserving our natural habitats and animal species. Some parts of our work come to our own discretion. For instance, our crew members came across a Chinese Tallow tree at Armand Bayou, that was canopied with vines and then, as we all looked closer, we saw there was a birds nest high above resting on the branches of the Tallows. It was our choice to not cut the tree down because it was someone’s home. We told our project partners and they were very glad and happy that we took that into our consideration while cutting down these trees.
At the location we work at on Galveston Island for Artist Boat, Chinaberry trees are scattered among palm and old (sometimes dead) larger oak trees. While we try to clear as many of the Chinaberry as possible, we take care not to damage or remove the old oaks. Our project partner and ourselves both agree that these old oaks are not only aesthetically pleasing but serve as beautiful reminders of the history of the land here for future visitors. Sometimes conservation means the removal of some plants but the ones we save are just as important.
During these past two and a half months we have put in a sufficient amount of hours working with a chainsaw. Starting out with little to know experience with them we were very hesitant and cautious. Though out our our projects our confidence in using the chainsaws started to build up. Chainsaw work for our group has now became a very exciting yet exhausting practice, this because on one hand felling a big tree is very fulfilling and very addicting. At the same time we have learned to identify target trees that need to be cut down and ones that need to be preserved, this practice can be tricky at times because well some trees look the same and mistakes can be made quite often. For Example a few of us had a finished up cutting Chinese tallow and next to them were small oak trees, not knowing moving at a hurried pace we cut down the small oak trees by accident and when we realized our mistake we became more aware of what and what not to cut down. In conclusion when it comes to invasive removal you have to take into account all of a plants identifying features before you make your final cut while still having fun.

Natalie Fyffe – Coastal Crew Leader (Aqua Crew)

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