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Creek repair - brush dams

 
master pollinator
Posts: 11515
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
798
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Filling rocky channels with brush in a cedar desert near the north boundary of our land.  Cedar deserts occur when poor grazing practices reduce the grass cover so that native Ashe Juniper ("Cedar") can colonize.  Once the Cedar is tall enough to shade out the remaining grass, flood run-off on slopes erodes away the soil to rock.  If the "traditional practice" of set-stocking cattle continues in this kind of ecology, eventually the entire region would become a desert wasteland.
P1080033.JPG
desert wasteland avoidance
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
798
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More brush piling
P1080037.JPG
brush dam
 
Posts: 61
Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
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Awesome thread!  Keep the updates coming! Several years ago, I built a brush dam across an area that floods on our property.  The area is nearly flat, so the water moves fairly slow.  An incredible amount of brush has rotted down since I started.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
798
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Thanks!  Yes, it's amazing how fast the brush rots down.  I'm hoping all these piles I'm making will eventually turn to soil and grow some new grass and maybe even shrubs and trees, though with so many deer, most of the young shrubs and trees are being destroyed.  But possibly enough brush might keep the deer away long enough for some trees and shrubs to get established.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
798
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Back to brush damming!  Made a biggish new dam across the channel and a little upstream added brush where some trees had fallen into the channel.  I threw over 100 Osage Orange fruits into the brush in hopes of getting a tree or two in the future.

brushdamnov2019.JPG
brush dam
brushchannel.JPG
brush dam
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11515
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
798
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This Jackrabbit sat about 30 feet away the whole time I was chainsawing and dragging brush around.
jackrabbit.jpg
jackrabbit
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
798
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Channel crammed with trees.  Generally I don't like making brush dams this tall and fluffy, but it was easier to fell entire trees and large branches right into the channel than to cut them into smaller pieces.  This will compress on its own over time.

middlebrushdam.JPG
brush dam
 
Tyler Ludens
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798
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Bags of Osage Orange/Bois d'Arc fruits to throw in the channel.
osageoranges.JPG
oseage orange fruits
 
Posts: 124
Location: Southeast Arizona, Latitude 31, Zone 8A, Cold Semi-Arid, USGS Ecoregion 79a
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Tyler, are you just throwing the osage oranges whole into the channel and the fruits will break down and release the seed? I'm wondering because we just collected some whole fruits from a local hedge and want to try growing them by us. I've never grown them before and am wondering what is the best/most likely way to promote germination and how much water they need, and/or how regularly. Do you know? Thank you!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
798
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Nature seems to grow them by dropping them and letting them wash downstream and/or maybe critters eat them and distribute the seeds, so I am just throwing them around in brush piles everywhere.  Some seem to be getting partially eaten, not sure by whom.  In the past I have grown them from seeds dug out from the fruits, so, you might want to try both ways.  None of the trees I originally planted from seed have survived - the deer ate them.  If I get even a couple of trees from the hundreds of fruit I'm tossing around, I will be thrilled!
 
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