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Monarchs

 
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Charlie Trie
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Joined: 25 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:08 pm    Post subject: Monarchs Reply with quote

Here's another reason to leave things alone: http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/07/06/monarch.butterfly.reut/index.html

(Does anyone on BBI count, and report monarchs?)
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mikewhite
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Joined: 01 Jan 2003
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Location: Sand Bay

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:22 am    Post subject: Will Knapweed ruin Monarch habitat? Reply with quote

It was pointed out to me a few years back that I had knapweed on the beach at Sand Bay. Sand Bay is a Monarch Butterfly paradise with all the milkweed. I have for the last two years been pulling the knapweed out by hand in an attempt to try and stop it from entirely taking over the whole beach. It is crowding out everything. That includes milkweed and also Huron Tanzy. I am losing the battle. It looks like the paradise for Monarchs at Sand Bay at least will be gone. Do you think I'm worrying over nothing or do you agree that Knapweed ruins Monarch habitat?
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, I applaud your efforts. I must admit that I'm clueless re: knapweed; knapweed - milkweed dynamic.

I just looked up knapweed and see that it's a big problem in the forage areas of the upper midwest plains states. They're using mechanical control for local infestations, and herbicides for large areas. It appears that the knapweed elaborates a local toxin that inhibits growth of other plants. This 'strategy' appears to be akin to that 'employed' by many desert plants.

[My cautionary anecdote about selective herbicides includes personal experience with an attempt to eliminate spotted spurge from my home lawn. I sprayed with pronamide (Kerb) thinking that I would eliminate it and poa at the same time. My result was a wiping out of the bent grass with no effect on the spurge; in fact, it exploded into the niche left by the dead bent.]

On BBI, my beach seemed to have marginally fewer milkweeds. I don't know about knapweed, I'll have to get you to teach me how to identify it. I've always gloried in the thistles, which apparently are from the same species.

When the dock area had the 'problem' with the Tanzy several years ago, I spent some time with the consulting botanist. He was a delight. I'd love to have him come back regularly to teach and monitor. [He was actually very tolerant of my trying things like feeding dwarf lake iris, spreading milk weed seeds, harvesting and planting local sea oats, etc.]
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Al'sOtherSister
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, maybe you could take a full beach shot, then a closer shot of the infestation and post them?
Lisa
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John Elmer Engel
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Joined: 05 Dec 2002
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Location: Bay City-BBI: East End

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: Knapweed Reply with quote

Never heard of knapweed before. A few years back, Mullin (sp?) plants popped up all over the east end areas vacated by low water. Being seven feet tall and growing everywhere had many folks in a tither. They were fascinating plants and the fact that they just "showed up" in such great numbers was interesting. The next year, however, they virtually did not appear even though the land and water level changed very little.

Have the Knapweeds been increasing over the years?
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mikewhite
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Location: Sand Bay

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:01 am    Post subject: Knapweed Photo Reply with quote

Good Idea posting a photo. I'll do just that. Look under ALBUM-SHARING.

More details. It is Spotted Knapweed; Much branched, wiry-stemmed. Leaves are deeply cleft. Flowers pink or purple and similar looking to a thistle flower. From the internet- Main way that it is spread is by humans baling and shipping hay.

When I bought in 1986, I can't recall any Knapweed on the island at that time. It is possible that the Knapweed was introduced in all those round bales of hay sent over to feed the deer. But that is only a suspicion.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:16 pm    Post subject: Knapweed Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. I saw your pic. and I'll be looking for the plant. I think I've seen it. Sad if it came over in bales of hay but definitely a possibility.
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Pharmer Lana
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Joined: 12 Dec 2002
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Location: St. Clair

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dad,

I don't remember pulling any of that up while setting up my tents. I will be up in a few weeks, and you can point me in the direction of those knapweeds. See you on the 21st or 22nd.

Hope your anniversary was nice. Have you checked the family website? My running pic is there.
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DawnM
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Location: Traverse City, Crystal Beach, Lake Mary

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also looked this up on the internet and saw that there are insects that you can buy that eat this menace but it did not say if they eat anything beneficial as well or what they'll start eating when the knapweed is gone Question
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mikewhite
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Location: Sand Bay

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:36 pm    Post subject: Army of relatives to the rescue! Reply with quote

We have this get together at the end of July. I'm going to get all my relatives to pull Knapweed. Maybe I'll get ahead of it that way.

I wonder if others have the same problem with Knapweed on Bois Blanc?
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Al'sOtherSister
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I shall bring my knapweed pulling sons....LOL!
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Ron Petersen
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Joined: 22 Aug 2002
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Location: Tipton, Iowa

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike - I have your Garmin disc ready - Just have to get it sent - also on your Knapweed - I'm not sure how it grows - but if you use a product called Roundup and it can be sprayed, painted on with a brush or wiped on with a homemade wiper (rag on a stick) if it is taller than other plants - It will only kill what it touches and does not harm anything else and there is no residual to it - You do not have to cover the whole plant, just get some on it. You can spray an area to kill everything and seed it a week later.
C Ya.......Ron
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Last edited by Ron Petersen on Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Al's favorite sister
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike, I saw your picture of the knapweed, it is actually a close up of the ends. I went for a walk soon after and found some of it in our driveway and pulled them up. Further down at the end of the drive there are lots and big, bushy and strong! No way for me to pull them up by hand! I continued down to the river and they are all over around the culvert on both sides! Looks like they like it hot and dry cause I could not see any anywhere along the river banks. I imagine that anywhere you go you will find these everywhere!
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be very careful with the use of Round Up on BBI. Although it's margin of safety for animals is unparalleled among agricultural chemicals and it breaks down quickly, it is a potent, non-specific herbicide. It'll kill any small plant it touches. (According to some of the online sources, the knapweed problem has arisen in part from wide spread use of glyphosate (RoundUp)).

I buy and use glyphosate by the gallon to control weeds in my orchard. But I usually apply it as a spray at dawn when there's no wind. The slightest breeze will cause drift. I've lost branches and whole newly planted trees from carelessness. (I don't know when there's a reliable windless time on BBI?)

Downstate farmers use it indiscriminately on soybeans that have been geneticly engineered to be "RoundUp Ready". That is, they've been genetically engineered to contain an enzyme that breaks down glyphosate.
Their fields are wonderfully productive, without mechanical weeding.

Problem arises when "RoundUp Ready" crops crossbreed with native weeds. Then the weeds will 'shrug off' the herbicide. This problem has become a hot button issue with biologists. Needless to say the folks who've engineered "Round Up Ready" grasses think they're going to become zillionaires from golf courses and homeowners who won't have to weed any more. But there are many studies on plant markers that show natural crossbreeding between crops and closely related weeds. These markers have been found thousands of feet from the monitored plots. No farmer wants to see weeds become RoundUp Ready.

I think a family gathering to pull knapweed sounds like the best solution, for lots of reasons.

JMHO


Charlie
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy Mackinaw Charlie, I was just trying to help - You just explained the same thing that can happen to 1000 herbicides - I worked with them for 18 years and know what I'm talking about - It's safe to use like I stated - Why must everything become an issue with you!!!!!!!!!
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron - the ag literature suggests that RoundUp not be used in this situation.

After you've rounded up a beach, how do you seed milk weed? And when? Do you tell the butterflies to skip a year?

It seems to me that pulling weeds is as easy as daubing them; and it's instantaneous destruction without ecologic issues.
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:32 am    Post subject: Round Up Reply with quote

I'm willing to listen to "asked for" information in any style that it is given. I'm a little bit Techy myself but can listen to good old county style too.

I have used the Wal-Mart version of Round Up in the one gallon container with the little squirt gun applicator. I use it on Sand Bar Willow that has also become a problem on the beach. You can't pull it up by hand, so I snip it off one by one and squirt Round Up on the fresh stub. This controlled method kills only what I want killed. Remember, This is not a farm field, but a fragile lake shore environment. I am messing around with it and trying not to make a mistake. My goal is to try and keep it similar to the way I remember it being in the past.

I believe that people, in some way, have brought these alien plants to Bois Blanc. I'm not out to defend the island against them. It is too big a job. But I do think that I can defend my own 150 feet and I will take advice in how to do that in any form I can get.
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike - I hope my info was helpful, Roundup will work on any green living plant - I'm not trying to tell you how to do it - But roundup is a very safe product and can be used on individual plants like I said - I didn't mean for you to do the whole lawn, just trying to explain how it works - If you happen to kill a few milkweed - I can send you all kinds of seeds - It grows wild down here and is kinda hard to kill - I think if you happen to kill a few, Charlie will make up a sign for the Monarchs stating what is happening Rolling Eyes
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike - I finally got your Garmin disc sent today - Hope it works OK for you
C Ya...........Ron
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