Last Wednesday I was part of a group of six people that sat in a restaurant in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, a city surrounded by a gorgeous landscape featuring rolling hills and the mighty Mississippi River. One asked the waitress, "What do you think we've done today?" The waitress eyed the group before guessing, "A teacher's retreat? That or a kung fu convention." Her wild guesses missed the mark, but the reality was about just as unusual as a kung fu convention in rural Wisconsin: collecting cottonwood tree cuttings for propagation in the spring.
|Bobby and Ray from the Army Corps of Engineers|
|The beautiful site featured a dense stand of cottonwood saplings|
|Ranger Nancy cutting saplings|
|Volunteers made quick work of cutting saplings|
|Bundling the cuttings with expert advice from Ray|
|Removing branches and cutting stems|
|Bobby painting the tops of the bundled cuttings|
Next, we were given the pro tip of painting the top of the cuttings, which will be important later this spring when they're planted. The top ends will produce the buds and branches needed to grow into a thriving tree and the lower part of the cutting that is placed in the ground will produce roots. Painting the top will make it easier to identify which end goes up.
I would like to offer an extra note of thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers for their expertise and time, in addition to giving us access to their cottonwood field. What a great resource and terrific partnership. Special thanks also to our fabulous volunteers that came along! We will be advertising more volunteer opportunities in the spring when we are ready to plant the cuttings and subsequently monitor their success. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events on our events calender or email Anna Waugh at email@example.com to sign up for our volunteer email list.
|We accomplished great work thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers and our volunteers|