GPLT works to educate landowners in order to raise awareness and accomplish our mission to conserve and protect the lands, wildlife, waterways and air we all appreciate each day.
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Did you know . . .
Moss doesn’t have roots, flowers, fruits, or seeds and doesn't present a danger to other plants?
Moss evolved from green alga. It is a tiny type of plant called a bryophyte. It is usually bright green in color. Some species can be pale green, (almost white), bluish-green, yellowish-green or velvety black green. There are around 12 000 species of moss that can be found throughout the world. Lifespan of moss depends on the species; it ranges from 2 to 10 years.
What you’re seeing when you look at a mat of moss are leaves and stems that directly absorb water and nutrients from the air. Mosses use structures which look like miniature roots to attach themselves to objects like trees, rocks, walls, and soil. Most mosses form cushions that can reach 0.4 to 4 inches thick. The presence of moss does not affect the health of plants because they are not a parasitic plant.
Moss can survive in different habitats but it usually prefers shady areas of woodlands and forests that provide enough water. As a rule, it tends to grow in places where grass won’t. Although moss grows well on acid soil it will also grow on neutral and alkaline soils. Moss tolerates poor and compact soil but it doesn’t need them to thrive. While moss tolerates deep shade, it also grows in light shade and sunny spots, as long as conditions are favorable, dampness is a key condition.
Most mosses spread more quickly and look lusher and greener when watered for a few minutes several days a week but they tolerate drought quite well, better than grass. If you don’t water it during an extended drought, the moss doesn’t die. It just goes dormant and starts growing again when the water comes. Mosses can survive for weeks without water then soak it up like a sponge when it rains. This ability to absorb a huge amount of water makes it a good choice to prevent erosion of soil as a result of water runoff.
The presence of moss tells us that we live in a healthy environment. Even though mosses can adapt to various ecosystems, they are negatively affected by pollution and changes in environment that are the result of increased human activity.
Although moss is not a great nutritional source for wildlife, many small animals rely on moss as a shelter material, and during droughts they may access it as a source of water. Many birds line their nests with mosses.
Mosses were used as bandages during the World War I to prevent blood loss. Mosses were also used to soothe the infection since they contain chemicals with anti-bacterial properties.
That grayish green crusty or scaly looking growth on that tree might be lichen?
In winter you are most likely to notice a grayish green crusty or mossy-looking growth on the stems and branches of trees and shrubs. This common growth, known as lichen (pronounced “liken”), is a primitive life form that results from two different organisms, an alga and a fungi, living together. Lichens are completely self-supporting organisms where a symbiotic partnership has been created between a fungus and an algae or bacterium. No two lichens are alike. The algae and the fungus are not distinguishable except with a microscope, and the lichen lives longer than the alga or the fungus would separately. Neither organism is parasitic to the tree therefore not injurious.
Lichens are commonly found on the bark of tree and shrubs, in some cases trunks and branches may be completely covered by lichens. Lichens will grow on anything that sits still long enough, including slow growing plants, tree trunks, rocks, fence posts, fallen logs, tombstones, and even the ground. When lichens are found growing on trees or shrubs, it may just be a sign that that particular plant is naturally slow growing, such as Japanese maple, or that it is an older plant that is not growing at a vigorous rate. Lichen is rarely found on fast growing trees and shrubs because they are always shedding bark, making it difficult for lichen to attach to them.
Lichen on tree bark is completely harmless to the tree itself. The rhizines (similar to roots) allow them to attach to the tree but do not go deep enough to harm the tree in any way. The dominant partner is the fungus, which gives the lichen the majority of its characteristics, from its shape to its fruiting bodies. The alga can be either a green alga or a blue-green alga, otherwise known as cyanobacteria. Many lichens will have both types of algae. The algal component provides sugars through photosynthesis, and the fungal component obtains water and minerals from the air, water or surrounding environment. Lichens tend to thrive and increase in a moist environment.
Colors of lichens vary widely and include white, gray, red, green, yellow and black. The same wide variation is seen in shapes and sizes. Some lichens adhere to bark or rocks in a roughly circular flat crust, while others form raised lobes or branches. Lichens reproduce when small pieces containing both organisms breaks off. These fragments can be carried by wind or water to a new location.
No management is necessary or should be done to reduce the presence of lichens on a tree or shrub. Finding lichens on a tree or shrub in your yard is a sign that the air surrounding the tree or shrub must be pure since lichens will not grow in areas with a smoky or polluted environment.
GPLT Board Member, Dale Higdon, was honored with the Conservation Award by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution?
At the December 12th meeting of the Southern Wings Bird Club, GPLT Board Member, Dale Higdon, was honored with the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) Conservation Award and metal. The presentation was made by Chelsea Goode, Conservation Committee Chairman for the Suwanee Creek Chapter and Pamela Ann Lyle, Conservation Committee Chairman for the state of Georgia and signed by Ann Turner Dillon, President General NSDAR. Each year only one individual is honored with this award from the 110 chapters representing a membership of over 7,500 in Georgia.
(Pictured R to L: Rebecca Spitler, GPLT President; Carol Hassell, GPLT Exec. Director; Dale Higdon; Chelsea Goode, DAR Conservation Committee Chairman Suwanee Creek Chapter; Pamela Ann Lyle, DAR Conservation Committee Chairman for Georgia; Hank Ohme, Southern Wings Bird Club President-Elect & GPLT Photographer)
The NSDAR Conservation Committee is dedicated to preservation of the natural resources of our country, its soils, minerals, forests, waters and wildlife. Dale was recognized for his outstanding achievement in environmental awareness and his years of outstanding volunteer work and dedication to conservation efforts in Georgia.
Dale has been on the GPLT board since 1998 and currently serves as board secretary. He retired from the Georgia Forestry Commission in 2008 after a 32 year career as a forester working in forest management and urban forestry in the Atlanta metro area. Dale received a BS in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia in 1974 and is a Georgia Registered Forester and an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist. Much of his work with the state forestry agency involved assisting private landowners with forest management advice and providing technical assistance to urban homeowners with tree diagnosis, especially insect and disease problems. His background in timber evaluation and knowledge of the natural resources in Georgia, especially the Piedmont region provided good experience for work in conservation preservation. Dale grew up in the northwest Georgia mountains on a small farm in Dade County and has an agriculture background.
Since retirement Dale has been involved in many activities including working with a consulting arborist which has allowed him to maintain his arboricultural skills. He also volunteers with the Georgia Wildlife Federation and works at the Mill Creek Nature Center in Gwinnett County where he helps with maintenance of trails and presents programs to various groups (school, scouts). Dale is the primary field inspector for GPLT and has detailed knowledge of all properties owned or under conservation easements by GPLT. He assisted with management plans for all fee owned properties in 2012 and assists on all of the annual monitoring visits. His knowledge of natural resources, map reading and GPS is an excellent resource for GPLT.
GPLT is cooperating with the Georgia chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation to establish seed test plots in the native range of the American chestnut. 34 chestnuts of various genetic combinations were planted in March 2014 on a GPLT property in Gwinnett County and Dale is managing the care of these seedlings with hopes they will survive and produce new chestnuts.
Dale is a member of the Society of American Foresters, Georgia Urban Forest Council, Georgia Arborist Association, Georgia Wildlife Federation and American Chestnut Foundation. He has received the Outstanding Individual Award from the Georgia Urban Forest Council and the Kim Coder award from the Georgia Arborist Association.
The tree that displays copper leaves through the winter is an American Beech, a Georgia native?
The American beech is considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree. It features a spreading canopy capable of blocking sunlight and adds visual interest and beauty to the landscape. It provides great shade in the summer. In the fall the foliage changes to a golden bronze color clinging to the branches until late winter or early spring.
Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day. The American beech is shade tolerant which allows it to thrive in woodlands with good moisture; large mature specimens can be found on slopes adjacent to streams and creeks. It grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, well-drained and clay soils. It is very drought sensitive.
The American beech generally grows to a height of 50–70', but can reach over 100’, and a spread of around 40-60' at maturity. This tree grows at a slow to medium rate, with height increases of anywhere from less than 12" to 24" per year.
These trees do not grow well in urban conditions because they are intolerant of urban pollution, salt, and soil compaction. However, this tree does thrive well in mature urban forests.
The foliage of the American beech is host to over 120 insect species which serves as a food source for a variety of wildlife. The beechnuts it produces are eaten by birds and mammals, serving as an important food for chipmunks and squirrels.
The Eastern Red Cedar, a Georgia native, is not a true cedar but a member of the juniper family?
The Eastern red cedar is considered one of the top five Christmas trees in America due to its evergreen boughs and aromatic properties. The eastern red cedar is a very hardy conifer that grows well under a variety of adverse conditions and in a wide range of soils. It adapts to acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well-drained and clay soils. The tree can withstand occasional flooding yet has good drought tolerance. It is considered a pioneer species because of its usefulness in erosion control; repopulating cleared, eroded, or damaged land.
In some areas this tree is prized as a shelter belt planting because of its resistance to drought, heat and freezing temperatures. Because its fibrous root system helps hold soil in place, eastern red cedar is one of the best trees for protecting soils from wind erosion and reducing the devastating effects of wind.
It is a dense, medium growing tree, with height increases of 13–24" per year, generally reaches 40–50’ tall with a spread of 8–20' at maturity. It is unusually long-lived with a potential to live 850 years. Because this tree is dioecious (expressing male and female reproductive structures on different trees), the pollen cones, much smaller than the seed cones, reside on a separate tree.
Eastern red cedar grows best in open spaces. Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day. This tree has been known to adjust to shade conditions by remaining dormant until the dominant trees lose their leaves. They then conduct photosynthesis while their taller neighbors are dormant.
Reputed to have natural moth repelling qualities it has been long used in cedar chests, wardrobes and closets. The growth character of the tree limits the lumber to fairly small board sizes. Cedar poles are highly resistant to decay and are widely used for fence posts because of their longevity in soil.
Eastern red cedar is important to wildlife. It provides birds with cover for nesting and roosting and escape cover for deer. Both the bark and seed cones are utilized by wildlife species. Its foliage, although low in nutritional value, provides an emergency food supply for wildlife during the winter when other foods are scarce. Its fruit is eaten by many species as a source of fat, fiber, calcium and carbohydrates. Birds peel the bark off in narrow strips and use it as nesting material.
Those scales on that tree might just be tree bracket or shelf fungus?
Bracket fungus comes from the mushroom family. Unlike many of their mushroom cousins, most are inedible and of the few that can be eaten, most are poisonous. If you try to remove one of these brackets you will find that they are rock hard; so hard, that they can be carved into works of art and beautiful jewelry.
Tree bracket fungus is often referred to as shelf fungus because of the way it sticks out from the infected tree. They are called polypores. Instead of having spore producing gills, they have many pores lined with spore producing cells which form woody tubes through which the spores are released into the air. A new layer of spore tissue is added each growing season on top of the old; and as time passes, these layers grow into the large and familiar bracket. The rings can give clues to the age of the growth. Ten layers may mean the shelf is 10 years-old if there is only one growing season (spring). If there are two growing seasons per year (spring and fall), it may only be 5 years-old.
As long as the host plant, tree, survives the shelf will continue to grow. The shelves are the fruiting bodies of the fungus. The tree bracket fungi are a major wood rotting group. It is a disease that infects a tree’s heartwood. By the time the shelves appear, there is usually a significant amount of interior damage causing damage to the structural integrity of the tree which results in white or brown rot. If the rot occurs in a branch, it will weaken and eventually drop. If the disease attacks the trunk, the tree can fall. In older trees with massive trunks, this decay can take years. Once a tree is infected, the fungus cannot be killed.
These white or brown rot attacks the top of a tree, the heart wood inside, and the base of the stem. The tree stem often breaks as a result even though the tree is still alive and has leaves. The body of the fungus decomposes chemicals in the tree cells. Brown rot is the result of a fungus not being able to break down lignin in the cell walls. Lignin is a large reddish brown molecule that makes cells stronger and more waterproof. White rots attack both lignin and cellulose, molecules in paper. The rotted wood is white because they tend to leave cellulose behind. Scientists are exploring the use of white rot fungi to convert wood chips to paper "pulp". This "biopulping" technique reduces energy use and pollutants. White rot fungi can also destroy toxic chemicals like PCB's in soil.
Like all fungi, bracket fungus likes a damp environment there for it is important to make sure the bases of trees don’t stand in water. As soon as the infection is noted, removal of the bracket fungus shelves will at least prevent the spore release that may infect other trees. These fungi attack old and the weak trees and often occur after a tree is damaged by man or nature. Strong, healthy trees respond with a natural chemical defense when damage occurs, which helps fight off fungal disease.
Woody shelves are a micro (small) habitat. They provide a unique place for animals to live. Spiders, mites, and insects live in large shelves. A few of the insects are specialized and only found in shelf fungi. Some beetles are very slim so they can fit inside a pore. They hide in a pore and eat spores. The infected trees also provide nesting sites for birds and squirrels. The rotten wood is easy to excavate and logs provide cover. What results are enough insects and other animals attracted to the tree that a food web is created.
Tree trunk bumps or warty growths, burls, are thought to be caused by environmental factors?
A burl results from a tree undergoing stress which commonly causes the formation of a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk or branch that is filled with small knots from dormant buds. Although little research has been done to confirm the cause or causes of burls, it is thought to be caused by many environmental factors. Tree growth is hyper-stimulated as a way for the tree to isolate and contain the injury. Burls may serve as secondary infection avenues for insects and diseases, but as a rule they do not seem to be harmful to most trees because they are usually covered by protective bark.
Often, a tree that has developed burl wood is still generally healthy. Many trees with burl wood will go on to live for many years. Burl wood in vulnerable spots or with off-shooting growth can become so large and heavy that they create additional stress on a tree and can cause the tree to break apart.
Burls should not be removed from a living tree since that would expose a large decay producing wound or completely kill the tree. Burls can be removed if located on prune-able branches or limbs using proper pruning methods.
Burls can yield a very peculiar and highly figured wood. Burled wood is highly prized by artisans for the beauty and rarity it brings to their works of art.
Christmas fern, a Georgia native, derives its name from its evergreen fronds which are often still green at Christmas in December?
Christmas fern is one of the most common ferns in the Southeast. Opinions differ regarding the origin of Christmas fern’s common name. Some think it comes from the fact that the fern is evergreen at Christmas and was used by early settlers as holiday decoration. Others believe it comes from the fact that the leaflets, especially the larger ones, are shaped like a Christmas stocking or like Santa’s sleigh or boot. Christmas fern is a great addition to natural holiday decorations, they are great as wreaths.
This fern is hardy and requires little care. It can be found and survives in a wide variety of habitats and locations, particularly in moist and shady areas in forests, rocky slopes, and stream banks. Although it prefers partial shade, the Christmas fern also tolerates direct sun if the soil is kept damp. In the right conditions, it can even survive periods of drought. In addition to its ability to adapt to most growing conditions, it is also resistant to pests and diseases. Even deer tend to stay away from it when grazing.
This perennial evergreen fern adds beautiful greenery to a bare forest landscape, but it can also be a great addition to a backyard garden. It is popular as an ornamental plant for gardens and natural landscaping, is easy to grow and can be used in many settings and soils. In the garden, it is effective as a tall ground cover or as a companion to other shade-loving ferns, perennials, and wildflowers. Because it is an evergreen, Christmas fern is often used in winter gardens.
Christmas fern can serve a soil conservation and erosion control function on steep slopes. The fronds are semi-erect until the first hard frost, after which they lay down to be flat on the ground, effectively holding in place fallen leaves so that they become soil on the slope. It also generates a protective, concealing habitat for a number of native ground-feeding and ground-nesting bird species.
This fern grows in a circular form with all the leaves arising from a single point on the ground. It can form colonies but frequently grows singly or in twos or threes. The fronds grow from 12-32 inches long and 2-5 inches broad, divided into 20-35 pairs of leaflets. Plants are typically 18 to 30 inches tall and spread by a creeping rhizome, rootstalk, to a similar width. Dense clumps are easily divided, preferably in spring or fall. Under the right conditions, Christmas fern will naturalize by spores, gently expanding its presence in the garden.
GPLT protects several areas of Civil War battlefields, near Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park in partnership with the Civil War Trust?
GPLT believes our heritage deserves protection for future generations?
We protect 600+ acres of Civil War battlefields.
December is a good time to plant native vines like Crossvine, Trumpet Creeper and Carolina Yellow Jessamine?
December is a great time to order flower and vegetable seeds for your spring garden?
Brush piles or wattles (linear brush piles) are a perfect way to provide habitat for birds and other wildlife?
They can be attractive path liners or just stacks of sticks and leaves in a remote part of your yard.
Create valuable habitat without spending a cent. Before you pile those leaves, tree limbs, and garden debris by the curb, consider the year-round needs of your wild neighbors. You can help restore and preserve wildlife habitat in your community by creating a simple brush pile shelter for wild animals.
Placing a wildlife brush shelter on your property can add an interesting and important element to your backyard habitat, attracting a wide variety of wildlife that may have been missing. Providing dense, heavy and secure shelter close to the ground can attract many animals that may not feel comfortable in a typical manicured and colorfully landscaped yard.
Throughout the year, wild animals need dense cover in which to hide from predators, rest, nest, and seek shelter from severe weather. When trees and shrubs lose their foliage in autumn, permanent sources of cover become even more important. Wildlife will make use of a haphazard pile of limbs, leaves, and twigs.
Choose an area with good drainage; near a forest edge, along a stream, or at the edge or back corner of a property; and close to existing food sources and shrubs. Where aesthetics are important, plant native vines such as crossvine, trumpet creeper, trumpet honeysuckle and Carolina yellow jessamine as an attractive cover for the brush pile, or plant a border of wildflowers.
Rot and decay are a normal process of brush piles. As they rot, they attract more insects, providing additional food for birds. The piles should be inspected yearly to determine if the state of decay is such that a new brush pile should be constructed.
A tree has a rich life after its demise?
Left standing in the woods, it provides a perfect place for cavity-dwelling birds and many other species of wildlife to nest and raise their young. Then when the snag, a standing dead or dying tree, falls, it provides years of additional value by creating a sort of nursery for seeds to germinate. And, finally, it enrichens the soil where it lies as compost.
GPLT protects several hundred acres of wetlands for the benefit of all Georgians?
Wetlands within and downstream of urban areas are particularly valuable, counteracting the greatly increased rate and volume of surface-water runoff from pavement and buildings. The holding capacity of wetlands helps control floods and prevents water logging of crops. Preserving and restoring wetlands together with other water retention can often provide the level of flood control otherwise provided by expensive dredge operations and levees.
Wetlands help clean water, slow runoff and mitigate the effects of flooding – if we protect them from harm and damage?
Wetlands are the link between land and water, and are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. Some common names for different types of wetlands are swamp, marsh and bog. Depending on the type of wetland, it may be filled mostly with trees, grasses, shrubs or moss. To be called a wetland, an area must be filled or soaked with water at least part of the year. Some wetlands are actually dry at certain times of the year.
Wetlands have many important functions that benefit people and wildlife.
-- Provide habitat for a wide variety and number of wildlife and plants.
-- Filter, clean and store water - acting like kidneys for other ecosystems.
-- Collect and hold flood waters.
-- Absorb wind and tidal forces.
-- Provide places of beauty and many recreational activities
Wetlands also act like sponges by holding flood waters and keeping rivers at normal levels. Wetlands filter and purify water as it flows through the wetland system. Plants found in wetlands help control water erosion.
Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs. An immense variety of species of microbes, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish and mammals can be part of a wetland ecosystem. Climate, landscape shape (topology), geology and the movement and abundance of water help to determine the plants and animals that inhabit each wetland. The complex, dynamic relationships among the organisms inhabiting the wetland environment are called food webs.
Wetlands can be thought of as "biological supermarkets." They provide great volumes of food that attract many animal species. These animals use wetlands for part of or all of their life-cycle. Dead plant leaves and stems break down in the water to form small particles of organic material called "detritus." This enriched material feeds many small aquatic insects, shellfish and small fish that are food for larger predatory fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals.
For many animals and plants inland wetlands are the only places they can live. For others wetlands provide important food, water or shelter. More than one-third of the United States' threatened and endangered species live only in wetlands, and nearly half use wetlands at some point in their lives. Many other animals and plants depend on wetlands for survival.
Many of the U.S. breeding bird populations-- including ducks, geese, woodpeckers, hawks, wading birds and many song-birds-- feed, nest and raise their young in wetlands. Migratory waterfowl use coastal and inland wetlands as resting, feeding, breeding or nesting grounds for at least part of the year. An international agreement to protect wetlands of international importance was developed because some species of migratory birds are completely dependent on certain wetlands and would become extinct if those wetlands were destroyed.
Wetlands function as natural sponges that trap and slowly release surface water, rain, snowmelt, groundwater and flood waters. Trees, root mats and other wetland vegetation also slow the speed of flood waters and distribute them more slowly over the floodplain. This combined water storage and braking action lowers flood heights and reduces erosion.
GPLT has approximately 1900 acres of land under protection?
GPLT has a diverse portfolio of protected properties to include Civil War battlefields in partnership with the Civil War Trust and the American Battlefields Protection Program, a green cemetery in partnership with the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, watershed restoration properties, conservation subdivision greenspaces, granite outcrops, habitats with threatened species and a community garden in partnership with citizens like you who care about green and open spaces in their communities.
The American Holly is native to Georgia and is also known as Christmas Holly?
This holly is great for creating natural, homemade holiday decorations such as wreaths, swags and center pieces. Make sure to wear gloves when working with holly.
Plants in the holly family have been widely used in landscaping and holiday decorations. Because English holly keeps its dark green leaves and bears bright red fruit in the wintertime, it was used for centuries as a symbol of Christmas and other winter celebrations. European immigrants to North America continued the tradition by using American holly in the same way.
The American holly is dioecious which means that plants usually have either male or female flowers but not both. Therefore, only trees with female flowers will bear fruit when they receive pollen from a male holly. American Holly grown within 30-40 yards of each other will pollinate naturally if there is a male and a female present. So you’ll typically want to plant at least one male plant with one or more female hollies in order to have berries. It is recommended to use the same species if you wish to pollinate. If you do not, make sure not to plant them together. American Holly is best used in the landscape for screening or as a specimen tree as it matures to 20 to 50 feet tall and 15 to 30 feet wide
It is best to plant American holly in the spring, right before they start growing but with plenty of warm weather on the way. Growing American holly from seed can be difficult as the seed germination is slow, requiring anywhere from sixteen months to three years. In addition, it can take another three years before the holly shrubs produce any flowers. Cuttings are the easiest way to propagate American holly. Cuttings are generally taken while the plants are dormant or during cold weather. Cuttings should be made above and below the bud unions, dipped in a rooting hormone and placed in a potting soil and sand mixture. This is then kept moist while the plants are establishing roots.
American holly thrives best in locations with lots of sun and well-drained soil. Good locations include moist sites, flood plains and lower slopes. It can also be found in mixed hardwood forests. The trees will benefit from a yearly mulch of used coffee grounds and show best results where the soil is acid-rich.
American Holly flowers appear in the spring, and intermittently at other points in the year attracting a wide range of insect pollinators. Flies and small bees seem to appreciate holly flowers the most.
It is best to keep your live holly decorations out of reach of pets and small children as the berries are mildly toxic. The berries of American Holly remain on the tree all through the winter and are a valuable food source for fruit-eating wildlife that include deer, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, box turtles, American robin, cedar waxwing, cardinals, mockingbirds, blue jays, red-bellied woodpeckers, wild turkey, etc. Though the berries are often untouched by birds earlier in the season they become especially important to birds late in the winter, when many other food sources have been depleted.
Because the leaves of this tree are retained all winter, the American holly provides useful shelter for a range of wildlife. It is a good nest site for a variety of songbird species, especially bluebirds and brown thrashers.
Natural cemeteries save land and create significant nature preserves. Natural or “green” burial is a return to traditional low cost and simple practices.
Mistletoe lives on woody plants feeding off the plant’s sap?
It is a parasite, depending on the host plant's sap for nutrients.
Although we commonly see mistletoe in oak trees, it infests hundreds of woody plant species. North American mistletoe prefers hardwood forests although it will grow on conifers and deciduous trees and shrubs, depending on the species. Mistletoe rarely kills trees but it can weaken the limbs. It is next to impossible to remove mistletoe from large trees. Cutting it off a tree limb only retards growth for a while. It eventually grows back.
North American mistletoe is very distantly related to sandalwood. It is classified as a woody shrub, and has green, oval-shaped leaves about three to four inches long. The flowers are small and white to greenish white. Once pollinated, the flowers mature into berries that can be red, orange, yellow and white.
Many species of North American mistletoe are poisonous to humans, but birds love them. Mistletoe spreads through bird droppings; birds consume the berries and leave the seeds behind wherever they roost on branches. The word mistletoe is derived from Anglo-Saxon words for dung (mistel) and twig (tan).
All those leaves on the ground make a great compost heap?
Their humus-building qualities mean improved structure for all soil types. They aerate heavy clay soils, prevent sandy soils from drying out too fast, soak up rain and check evaporation.
GPLT has been protecting land since 1998?
To date we are protecting land in Bibb, Catoosa, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Hall, Rockdale and Walton Counties.
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