In 2012 & spring 2013 FMR partnered with several other conservation organizations and received help from many talented, determined, and generous volunteers to plant more than 2300 trees and shrubs along the banks of the river.
The riverbanks, many left raw after Irene, have been begging for a helping hand to reestablish their protective layer of vegetation. FMR has answered the call by planting native trees and shrubs on sites along the main-stem from Warren to Moretown. Planting sites include the town-owned Riverside Park and private land and farms including: Compere, Marble, Sainsbury, Perot, Turner, Neill, the Lareau Farm Inn and several properties in Moretown Village.
Of the myriad of species planted, there are a few clear winners; those that have proven themselves over the course of this growing season to be tough and fast growing. The speckled alders are growing robustly with dense, bright green foliage. Also, the beautiful red-osier and silky dogwoods are performing beyond expectations with plenty of growth and a firm foothold on the unstable soils. The willows are also doing fabulously, as we knew they would!
In the future we will be sure to include plenty of hardy, fast growing shrubs in our planting plans, along with the slower growing species such as sugar maple. Interestingly, some of the supposedly “indestructible” box elders are struggling; we have found many with dead leader branches, though the trees are certainly still alive. Time will tell!
Knotweed is a big threat to the success of the projects; the fast-growing weed has the capacity to outcompete newly planted trees and shrubs before they can get established. Knotweed is prevalent at Riverside Park and truly overwhelming at the Marble’s planting site. We are hopeful that the taller trees will be able to hold their own against the knotweed and create a meaningful buffer.
We have funding available to support more planting projects in 2014. Please contact Caitrin if you are interested.