J Bb

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since Dec 29, 2018
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Recent posts by J Bb

Re: fire.... I saw this yesterday, thought others might be interested:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NerIx8tecHw  

To avoid tree loss during burns (recurrent wildfires in this case), the ranch owner removed low tree branches that act as scaffolding for flames.   This might work in drier areas with low, bunching grasses-- probably not for prairies or forests, but they're wetter anyhow and less likely to have tree death from fire.
1 month ago
If it can be done safely, burning periodically is a great tool to knock down tick populations and encourage healthy native-plant growth in wild areas.  Many biomes in the continental US are fire adapted, so native flowers and subterranean critters actually need occasional fires to be healthy.  How often to plan a burn?  Depends on the area, overlying fuel, vegetation type, local climate.... this Wikipedia article has a map showing historical burn frequency in different areas of the US:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_use_of_fire_in_ecosystems .  Also note from the same webpage that fire helps by "Decreasing tick and biting insect populations by destroying overwintering instars and eggs."

I knew of someone in the midwest who burned her pasture every year, but that was really hard on the land and just plain annoying to her neighbors.  For her location, burning every 3-6 years would have been better, or she could have done smaller annual burns and rotated through her acreage.  A managed nature reserve in Missouri does this-- they burn a small section each year, gradually rotating through the whole place.  That burn plan is ideal because it's flexible (some years won't be good burn years and can be skipped), it's consistent, not too draconian, not so smoky, and it's easier to keep fires under control.  

There are businesses who will run managed burns- i.e. pull permits and have safety equipment and insurance-- but i don't know what they charge.

In my experience, ticks travel on deer, so if I'm following a deer trail in the woods I'll swerve to avoid brushing against deer-height (knee to waist high) vegetation.   And I avoid sitting in areas where deer sleep.   Maybe if you could create deer-free zones, that would reduce the ticks in spots?
1 month ago