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Preservation of the Paulinskill River

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Birch Trees, Yellow Birch, Red Maple, Sycamore, Pin Oak, Black Willow, Sweetgum, Swamp White Oak, Flood tolerant Trees

Hello fellow readers, If I may share the story of how I learned about activities to help the Preservation of the Paulinskill River.

A friend from Stillwater stumped me when he asked what the plastic tubes are along routes 80 and 94. The plastic thingies look like tree tubes of sorts, but the mystery is, you can’t see any signs of trees. Curt (my better half) thought the tubes were part of a Superfund cleanup to vent toxic gas. In years past, waste was routinely dumped along rivers or open spaces. Congress initiated the Superfund program in 1980, and tons of cleanup is still ongoing.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Birch Trees, Yellow Birch, Red Maple, Sycamore, Pin Oak, Black Willow, Sweetgum, Swamp White Oak, Flood tolerant Trees

Tube Thingies

I reached out to my go-to mystery solver of all things in nature, Dennis of Blairstown. “Yes, they are tree tubes. The Nature Conservancy has planted trees and shrubs along the Paulinskill River,” he said. “There are very small trees inside the tubes to protect them from rodents.”

I asked if he knew what species were planted as many of us have low-lying areas that can flood and are curious about the initiative’s history. Mr. Speedy reached out to Allen Barlow of The Nature Conservancy in charge of the project and learned they received a large grant from the Dodge Foundation “to help restore the open bottomlands next to the Paulinskill River. They’ve planted about 25,000 trees so far.”

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Birch Trees, Yellow Birch, Red Maple, Sycamore, Pin Oak, Black Willow, Sweetgum, Swamp White Oak, Flood tolerant Trees

Yellow Birch Fall Color
Photo: Arbor Day Foundation

In the lineup are Yellow Birch / Betula alleghaniensis – a native species with bright gold fall color. It’s not often seen in the trades but worth scouting for the beautiful yellow-brown or red-brown bark. Oil of wintergreen can be distilled from the tree, which is likely why deer favor it. They’ve also planted River Birch / Betula nigra, which I often recommend for its magnificent salmon-colored peeling bark, glorious yellow fall color, and deer resistance.

There’s Pin Oak / Quercus palustris, one of the fastest-growing oaks, and Swamp White Oak/ Quercus bicolor, which tolerates wet soil and occasional flooding, as can Carpinus caroliliana is known as Ironwood or American Hornbeam. There’s Black Willow/ Salix nigra (deer almost surely stay clear of willows) and Red Maple/Acer rubrum sporting brilliant red foliage come fall. The American Sweetgum / Liquidambar styraciflua, with glossy star-shaped leaves, has a glorious mix of fall color. Of course, Platanus occidentalis, also known as American Sycamore or Planetree, is in the lineup – known for handling wet feet and striking camouflage mottled trunks.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Birch Trees, Yellow Birch, Red Maple, Sycamore, Pin Oak, Black Willow, Sweetgum, Swamp White Oak, Flood tolerant Trees

Yellow Birch / Betula alleeghaniensis
From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.

Thanks, Dennis. Grateful to know we have baby trees and not toxic waste!

Garden dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com and your favorite Podcast App. Column Updated 8/1/21

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Birch Trees, Yellow Birch, Red Maple, Sycamore, Pin Oak, Black Willow, Sweetgum, Swamp White Oak, Flood tolerant Trees

Red Maple / Acer rubrum
Photo: Arbor Day Foundation

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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