2013 October notes

October 12, 2013

Stream team notes

  • We had this work day at      the end of the almost 7day stormy rain stretch and with all the water that      the rains brought came a lot of trash. It was caught in the strainers, but      we were unable to collect trash due to high waters.
  • Big Bob the Sycamore is      closer to the water than before.
  • Three other sycamore trees      are down.
  • One dogwood was cut by      beavers.
  • We saw interesting      mushrooms and caterpillars.
  • We removed wineberry,      porcelain berry and a lot of bamboo.
  • We enjoyed the sighting of      Virginia grape ( a native plant)


Quote of the month

“We monitored the stream all summer!”

–        Two team volunteers



October 26, 2013

Stream team notes

  • The team surveyed the river and the water level was low
  • We saw a lot of suds on creek
  • The banks are getting steeper
  • We saw the river grass , but we could see the bottom
  • We observed a number of big piles of branches
  • There were few tires in the stream (~3) and washed away bottles (~500)




A beaver has girdled one of the large, mature trees between the basketball court and the creek. A neighbourhood volunteer called the MNCPAPC’s “problem” line and left a message. The main number was also called with a live, oral report. The woman who took the report said she would pass it on to the animal control people right away.


TREE PLANTING                        


The day is finally coming on the November 16th when the get to implement the ultimate restoration project at our site – replanting the native trees that are being lost due to storm water mismanagement , pollution and other issues.

We will be planting sycamores!

Sycamore is a name which is applied at various times and places to several different types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms. The name derives from the Greek language συκόμορος (sūkomoros) meaning fig-mulberry.

Species of trees known as sycamore:

  • Ficus sycomorus, the sycamore (or sycomore) of the Bible; a species      of fig, also called the sycamore fig or fig-mulberry, native to the Middle      East and eastern Africa
  • Acer pseudoplatanus, a      species of maple native to Central Europe and Southwestern Asia
  • Some North      American members of the genus Platanus, including
  • The American Sycamore is one of      the largest hardwood trees, usually growing 60 to      100 feet tall, but sometimes larger.
  • They have a large, straight      trunk, normally two to four feet in diameter (across), but some have been      found up to 15 feet across.
  • Sycamores have large,      spreading, crooked branches, making a wide crown (top part of tree).
  • American      Sycamore leaves are palmate (like a hand) with three or five lobes (sections, like fingers). The edge of the      leaf is wavy, with teeth. The top of the leaf is bright green, and the      underside is pale green. They have a long petiole (leafstalk).
  • Leaves      turn brown in the Fall.
  • American      Sycamores are found in forests, especially at the edges of streams, lakes,      and ponds. They like moist soil. They are also used for landscaping, along      streets, and in yards as a shade tree.
  • Sycamores      naturally grow in groups with Silver Maple, Red Maple, Yellow Poplar,      Sweetgum, and Black Willow.
  • Like      all deciduous trees, American Sycamores lose their leaves      in the fall. However, you can still identify them by their bark.
  • American      Sycamores have smooth, whitish bark, which peels off in large flakes.      Splotches, where bark has peeled off, can be brown, green, or gray.
  • Sycamore      twigs are thin and green, and they zigzag.
  • The      flowers of this tree are tiny and crowded together in ball-shaped clusters. They start out green before turning a deep      red.
  • The      fruits of American Sycamore are one inch brown balls which hang on stalks. They often litter yards and sidewalks when      they fall, although some stay on the tree through the winter. Some people      call them “buttonballs.”
  • The      seeds, which are packed tightly together inside the fruit, are called      “achenes.” Achenes are dry, hairy fruits.
  • Achenes,      because of their light “hairyness,” can travel far on the wind,      or float on water, to grow trees in new places.
  • The      seeds are also dispersed (spread) by birds and other animals which eat      them and poop some out in new places. They can still grow into new trees!
  • Some      animals that eat American Sycamore achenes are American Goldfinches,      Carolina Chickadees, Purple Finches, Mallards, Beavers, Muskrats, and Gray      Squirrels.
  • Relationships      in Nature:
Animals Using as Food Source Animals Using as Shelter Associations With Other Plants


American Goldfinch Wood Duck Silver Maple Poison Ivy Pa
Mallard Pileated Woodpecker Red Maple Virginia Creeper Pa
Carolina Chickadee Barred Owl Sweetgum Mossy Maple Polypore Pa
Beaver Raccoon Yellow Poplar Oystershell Scale Pa
Muskrat Great Crested Flycatcher Black Willow
Eastern Gray   Squirrel Black Rat Snake American Elm
Purple Finch Polyphemus Moth Mockernut Hickory
Eastern Subterranean Termite Big Brown Bat Virginia Creeper
True Katydid Bluegill Poison Ivy
Polyphemus Moth Largemouth Bass American Holly
Oystershell Scale Belted Kingfisher White Oak
Mourning Cloak Wild Grape
Blue Jay Lizard’s Tail
Virginia Opossum American Hornbeam
Crane Fly Buttonbush
White-breasted Nuthatch River Birch
Dogday Harvestfly
Carolina Chickadee
Eastern Bluebird
Oystershell Scale
  • Relationship      to Humans:
  • Humans      use American Sycamore wood for many uses, including furniture, flooring,      butchers’ blocks, particle board, boxes, crates, and baskets.
  • People      plant these trees along streams to stop soil erosion.
  • Many      homeowners plant American Sycamores in their yards to provide shade. They      are also good for landscaping in cities, because they are resistant to      pollution.
  • The      seeds of sycamores, called “achenes,” can cause skin irritation      and respiratory (breathing) problems in so


e people.















Platanus occidentalis








Quote of the month

“When do we finally get to plant the trees?”

                                          -All student volunteers