The Creek Is Alive!

Yesterday, I was surprised to find that the lower reach of West Nose Creek’s channel is open and the water is flowing. In its slow flow areas I could see lots of life, hugging the shallow stream bank. Mainly water boatman, but I did spot a few of what I thought to be midge larva. It was a nice day and great light for photography. Mainly last year’s plants were on my mind, so that is what my shots were going to focus on. But I also got a few photos of some planting sites from 2014.

These willows were planted in 2014, on West Nose Creek. They are now providing excellent habitat on the stream banks. This part of the stream channel was north facing, so the ice was still holding onto the stream bank.
There is a mix of plants from 2018 and 2019 in this batch. Some of the cuttings are smaller diameter, but they still grow great! Planting small is good!

The small diameter cuttings are extras that I plant every year. Due to their smaller diameter, they are not included in the total plant count. When I am collecting cuttings for planting, some of the tops are long enough to plant, so I grow them and plant them. Why waste good growing stock! They are a little more difficult to plant, but they do very well. What a beautiful day for being out of the house and along a creek that you love!

My first attempt at growing and planting willows and poplars involved smaller diameter cuttings that had been growing for a few months. The addition small diameter cuttings, under 1/4 inch in diameter, makes the planting system that much more efficient and productive. The more plants, the more survivors, after planting. Come planting time, I always include approximately 10 to 16 small diameter cuttings in the bundles of 100 normal size cuttings. So the total per bundle is substantially higher than the recorded and documented count.

These willows were planted in 2018. Wait until you see them a couple of years from now!
The willows that we planted in the spring of 2019, were growing fast along this riffle in West Nose Creek. hopefully they will all survive. They made it their first winter!

The key to success in this planting system is quantity! There must be many thousands of plants planted to witness quantitative results over the years. The more the merrier! This year’s crop may be smaller than in previous years, but it is still in the thousands that will be planted.

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