[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Knife Edge Prairie page.]
Most of the work I did here this year was on the point – clearing brush from the steep south-facing slope, and girdling black walnut that’s been invading the northern part of that slope.
I also planted seeds of some special natives on the point:
Orobanche fascuculata – seeds came from a nearby prairie
The rest of these seeds were purchased.
4/13/15 Sand Cress on the point
4/17/2015 The flat Knife Edge Prairie just after mowing
4/17/2015 After mowing
4/17/2015 This is a section that we’d only mowed a few times before. It has a thick growth of raspberries, but growing in with them are Jack-in-the-Pulpits, and hopefully other savanna plants. It’s shaded by a few old oaks, but mostly smaller black walnuts that I hope to remove over the next few years.
5/23/2015 These next few photos are all of the northern part of the point, almost to where it joins the flat prairie. My plan is to girdle (kill) all the black walnuts here, to open it up into savanna. There are a few old oaks, and lots of space between them.
5/23/2015 The first girdling of the black walnuts.
5/31/2015 This is the south-facing part of the point, looking up from below.
5/31/2015 Knife Edge Point
6/12/2015 This is looking down the point. I girdled several of the walnuts, so this should continue to get more savanna-like.
8/13/2015 This is some of the southwest-facing hillside that I cleared a few years ago. It’s slowly recovering.
8/13/2015 Looking north into the recovering southwest-facing slope from the sandy point.
8/16/2015 The wide flat part of the Knife Edge Prairie
9/10/2015 ‘Before’ picture of the top edge of the south-facing slope.
9/20/2015 After clearing
9/20/2015 The same slope – after clearing – looking north
9/20/2015 Under the brush there were blooming plants of Gray Goldenrod
9/25/2015 This is one of the thick patches of aspen sprouts that are coming up in the flat part of the Knife Edge Prairie. We mow them every spring, but that doesn’t seem to slow them down. This year I thought I’d try cutting and treating each stem with garlon. I can’t do the whole prairie at once, but if it works reasonably well in one area, I’ll slowly work away at the rest. This was the place I chose to start – a particularly thick thicket.
9/25/2015 This is after cutting and treating the aspen.