[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Knife Edge Prairie page.]
We could see that there were prairie plants growing under the brush surrounding the open prairie, so we decided to try mowing to see if we could enlarge the prairie area. We started in June 2001. We cut down a few trees that made it more difficult to mow, and cleared a few fallen trees, but mostly we mowed brush.
Here’s Mike, on our old, green tractor, mowing down the brush.
This is just after the mowing was finished, looking north from the path along the top of the knife edge.
Most of the remaining trees were Apple (Malus pumila) and Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina). They’re really not savanna trees (there should be oaks) but they’re scattered through the prairie and give it the look of a savanna, so we left them.
Late in the summer some prairie plants started coming back; Side-oats Grama bloomed.
We continued to mow it once a year for the next few years.