Archive for September 2009

Trees of the Shawangunks Walk, October 11

September 30, 2009

From the Mohonk Preserve:
Sunday, October 11th, 10am-2pm. Trees of the Shawangunks.
Join Ryan Trapani, Education Forester, Catskill Forest Association, Inc., and come out and enjoy a beautiful fall day and share Ryan’s deep knowledge of the forest. Learn to recognize the special characteristics that make each tree species unique. Ryan will discuss indicators of tree and forest health, and what to look for with the trees in your own yard. Bring a lunch and water. Ages 18 and up are welcome. This program includes a moderate, 5-mile hike. Reservations are required; sign up begins 9/21/09. Call 845-255-0919 for reservations and meeting location.

Kudzu in Albany, Here and Gone

September 29, 2009

In 2006 a DEC forester was taking his afternoon exercise walk in downtown Albany and noticed this big leafy legume vine smothering a privacy fence.  He took some digital pictures and notified Jerry Carlson, DEC State Plant Pathologist, of the location.  Ken Carnes, State Survey Coordinator from the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, siezed the opportunity to “test-out” their new Trimble GPS backpacks and documented the location with pin-point accuracy.  Later that winter, Heather Coiner, a graduate student at the University of Toronto who was studying the influence of climate change and the spread of kudzu, called from Canada and requested a kudzu sample to test for winter hardiness.  After Ken and Heather dug up four of the six plants, the property owner expanded his parking lot and destroyed the remaining plants. Its location along a fence line suggested that it had been planted. Fortunately no other kudzu plants have been found in the Capital District area. Heather is in the last stages of completing her PhD at the University of Toronto.

Kudzu Vine in Albany

Kudzu Vine in Albany

Living Light – A Celebration of the Finger Lakes Flora – Juried art exhibition – call for submissions

September 29, 2009

A juried art exhibition is being planned by the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society. The show will highlight the beauty and diversity of our region’s native plants and fungi and will welcome works in a variety of two- and three- dimensional media.

“Living Light” will be hosted by the Tompkins County Public Library from January through March 2010, and its opening will coincide with Ithaca’s 6th annual Light in Winter festival.

Jurors include Camille Doucet, painting and botanical illustration; Eric Serritella, ceramic art; and David Watkins, photography.

Submission will be accepted online from September 1 to October 17, 2009. Submission details are available now at:

Another Invasive Grass to Watch Out For

September 28, 2009

We recently posted an alert for false brome grass but Marilyn Jordan from TNC Long Island is also concerned about wavy leaf basketgrass showing up in New York.

Oplismenus hirtellus (L.) P. Beauv. ssp. undulatifolius (Ard.) U. Scholz

Reported though the Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council listserve. According to USDA plants the subspecies is only found in MD, but postings to the ma-eppc listserv indicate it is also in VA and FL. There
may be taxonomic confusion with the species Oplismenus hirtellus (L.) P. Beauv. Wavy leaf basketgrass is more competitive than Japanese stilt grass, and “An ornamental variegated pink, green and white form, sold as O. hirtellus ‘Variegatus’ for hanging baskets (Fig. 11), has spontaneously reverted to an all-green, wavy-leafed, very aggressive form under greenhouse conditions (Pohl 1981; see MD DNR poster).” The
ssp has been sold in CT according to LIISMA SRC member J. Lehrer. Information and photos of the ssp are available at:  and

Long Pond Greenbelt Celebration October 3rd

September 28, 2009

FLPG Celebration 2009 flyer

Hudson River Foundation Salt Marsh Seminars

September 28, 2009

The Foundation presents a seminar series on scientific issues related to the environmental quality and resource management of the New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 10:30 am

Ecological Functions of Hudson River Salt Marshes and Submerged Vegetation

Dr. Stuart Findlay, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 10:30 am

Salt Marshes: A Natural and Unnatural History

Dr. Judith Weis, Rutgers University

Friday, December 4, 2009, 10:30 am

All seminars will be held at:

The Hudson River Foundation

17 Battery Place, Suite 915

New York, NY 10004

RSVP: 212-483-7667 or

Seating capacity is limited. Please call or e-mail in advance.

Natural Heritage Ecologist Adele Tomaino on the brackish intertidal mudflats, Piermont Marsh. Photo: Troy Weldy

Natural Heritage Ecologist Adele Tomaino on the brackish intertidal mudflats, Piermont Marsh. Photo: Troy Weldy

Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Talk Coming Up

September 25, 2009

October 13, 2009 Tuesday, 7:30 PM

Mary Beth and Paul Tomko: “The Edgewood Oak-Brush Plains Preserve.” The Edgewood Oak-Brush Plains State Preserve is the second largest remnant of pitch pine/scrub oak in NY and the only such area on Long Island. The past, present, and future of this unique habitat, which lies in western Suffolk County, will be presented. Mary Beth and Paul represent The Friends of the Edgewood Oak-Brush Plains Preserve.

Location: Museum of Long Island Natural Sciences, Earth and Space Science Building, Gil Hanson Room (Room 123),SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook

* Refreshments and informal talk begin at 7:30 p.m.

Formal meeting starts at 8:00 p.m.

Directions to Muttontown or Stony Brook:


Path through Edgewood - Can you find the wild pink?

Path through Edgewood - Can you find the wild pink? Photo: Steve Young

Long Island Plant Sightings May 2009

September 25, 2009

From the Long Island Botanical Society:

Corydalis sempervirens, pink corydalis (Fumariaceae, the Fumitory Family; formerly included in the Papaveraceae, the Poppy Family). This delicate, showy spring wildflower is very rare on Long Island; the LIBS draft atlas of vascular plants records it from only one unspecified locality in Suffolk County. On 30 May 2009, George Dadone found a naturally occurring population of pink corydalis at the former Pilgrim State Hospital property in Edgewood. Rich Kelly, Donald House, and Paul and Mary Beth Tomko accompanied George.
Silene caroliniana ssp. pensylvanica, wild pink (Caryophyllaceae, the Pink Family). Rich Kelly, Donald House, et al. observed a small population of this state-listed, rare plant at the former Pilgrim State Hospital property in Edgewood on 30 May 2009. Steve Young of NYNHP has been closely monitoring this species in New York and has reported a decline in occurrences possibly due to browsing by herbivores.

Wild Pink, Silene carolininana ssp. pensylvanica

Euphorbia ipecacuanhae, ipecac spurge (Euphorbiaceae, the Spurge Family). This species is at its northern range limit on Long Island; in New York, it is known only from Suffolk County where it usually occurs in extremely nutrient poor, well drained, dry sandy soils. Usually, occurrences on L.I. consist of very few individuals (fewer than a dozen widely scattered individuals). On 30 May 2009, Rich Kelly, Donald House, et al. observed three widely scattered individuals of ipecac spurge at the former Pilgrim State Hospital property in Edgewood.

Ipecac plant at Edgewood

Ipecac plant at Edgewood. Photo: Steve Young

Viola pedata, bird’s foot violet (Violaceae, the Violet Family). On 31 May 2009, John Heidecker observed a large colony of bird’s foot violet in full flower growing in sandy soil along Grumman Blvd. in Calverton, a short distance from the Swan Lake Golf Course. Thirty years ago, this showy violet was relatively common throughout regions of Long Island, but today it is rarely observed. The decline of this species on L.I. is mostly attributed to habitat destruction, road expansion and maintenance projects, and chemical herbicides applied along the borders of railroad tracks.

Viola pedata at Edgewood

Viola pedata at Edgewood. Photo: Steve Young

The New England Chapter of the North American Lake Management wants to remind you that the Annual Symposium is almost here!

September 24, 2009

Oct 27 – 31, 2009 * Hartford, CT

Designed for environmental and watershed professionals, federal, state and municipal agency personnel, monitoring coordinators, lakeside residents, lake or watershed association leaders or members – this diverse conference has something for everyone!

  • Pre- and post conference workshops offer hands on training on topics ranging from watershed modeling, identifying aquatic plant, an introduction to electrofishing, writing effectively to starting a volunteer monitoring program – and much in between. (Descriptions available on line!)
  • Technical sessions bring together national (and international) experts from the fields of remote sensing, invasive species, cyanobacteria, lake policy and management, and many more!
  • Vendors representing lake management, water quality monitoring equipment, education and outreach programs and more will be on hand to share their product and services. Booths are filling fast – so don’t miss out on the chance to get the word out about your business!
  • Special events – taking advantage of our location on the beautiful Connecticut River, our annual 5K walk and run will be in parkland along and over the river. On Friday night we invite everyone to experience a traditional New England Clambake – complete with a boat ride up river to Riverfront Recapture’s ( boathouse (additional fee required!
  • Lake and Watershed Stewards special registration package provides lake and watershed association members access to the technical sessions of their choice on Friday and workshops on Saturday for a much reduced price – but these subsidized packages are limited – so act fast!

Please see for information about exhibiting, sponsorship, registration, including our special Lake and Watershed Stewards package, as well as special events. This year we are expecting a spectacular foliage season with unusually vibrant colors here in New England and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s foliage report estimates that the peak will occur during the conference. With some much to do so close by, Hartford will be a great place to not only network with lake and watershed folks, but to bring the whole family!

Don’t miss this chance – NALMS won’t be back in New England for years!

Elizabeth Herron
NALMS 2009 Conference Committee
Phone: 401-874-4552
Fax: 401-874-4561

Dreaded Invasive Kudzu Vine Has Been Found in Ontario

September 23, 2009

From the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters: It has been taking over fields, roadside signs, fences, trees, and even houses in the United States for years, but now, the kudzu vine (Pueraria montana) has been discovered in Ontario, on the shores of Lake Erie near the town of Leamington. The kudzu vine is a native of Eastern Asia, and was first brought to North America in 1876 for a centennial exhibition. It was later used for erosion control and promoted as a forage crop. Eventually, it took over much of the southern states and despite attempts to stop it, has continued to spread northward.

“We have been watching the kudzu vine move toward Canada for some time now, with great apprehension. Our colleagues in the south have been fighting a tough battle with this invader, so we need to take immediate action in Ontario to stop kudzu in its tracks,” says Rachel Gagnon, Coordinator of the O.I.P.C. (Ontario Invasive Plant Council), a collective of organizations collaborating to address the spread of alien invasive plants in Ontario. “Fortunately, it’s been found early, so unlike previous invaders, such as dog strangling vine, we have the potential to eradicate kudzu and protect Ontario’s biodiversity. Controlling this menace is critical to maintaining our native plants and wildlife habitat. If we let kudzu become established, it will cause untold ecological and economic damage.”

Like all other invasive species, when the vine takes to its new environment it spreads quickly at the expense of native species, including trees, which are girdled by the vine; broken by its weight; or killed by lack of light. The kudzu grows at an astounding rate of 30 centimeters (one foot) per day, and in a single season can grow up 30 meters (90 feet) in length.

Control measures include hand cutting, mowing, controlled burns and herbicide. Grazing animals, such as goats and pigs have also been effective at containing the spread of the vine over the long term.

The O.I.P.C. is a non-profit, multi-agency organization that facilitates a coordinated response to the threat of invasive plants. The council provides leadership, expertise and a forum to educate, motivate and empower organizations and citizens.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Ontario’s largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation organization, houses the O.I.P.C. and supports its efforts. Visit to learn more about the O.F.A.H.

To report a sighting of the kudzu vine or any other invasive species, call the O.F.A.H./M.N.R. Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711.Visit to download a fact sheet on the kudzu vine, or to learn more about other invasive plants.

New York Note:  the earliest record for New York State is around 1900 on Staten Island.  It is now well distributed around the NYC and Long Island area.  More info on its distribution around NYC can be found in the 1989 article by Edward Frankel in Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 116(4). 1989. pp. 390-394.


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