Hot, Dry Summer – Hard on Willows and Trees

The Dry Spell is Over – Hopefully

This has been a long hot and dry summer, which has been hard on both our willows and trees that we have planting in recent years. Fortunately, yesterday evening, our first rains have come and today there will be more of the same. It is September 13th today and I can’t remember when we got our last sprinkle, but it was some time ago.

The native willows and trees from previous riparian plantings are starting to turn color and some are showing dead leaves on the terminal ends. However, the plants are established enough to tolerate this past drought. They are planted close enough to the water’s edge that the stream has kept them alive.

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Above: These willows that were planted on an eroding stream bank on the Bighill Creek are showing signs of the drought on their terminal ends. However, they will survive, especially with the rain yesterday and today. The photo was taken last week.

Bow Valley Habitat Development has two more fall plantings planned for mid-October, so any moisture from either rain or snow will help prep the ground for those plantings. A good drenching this week should stay in the ground longer, with the cooler fall weather. Any previously planned plantings are dependent on some luck from our fall moisture prior to the events. Once a date has been picked in advance, we always stick with it. If all goes our way, we will have the fall crop in the ground and dormant for the winter months.

About Guy Woods

I am Director of Bow Valley Habitat Development, based in the Town of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. I love to fly fish and it is this past time that prompted me to get involved in the field of riparian and fish habitat enhancement. I have been working in this pursuit for over 30 years!
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