Native Haunts Consulting and Services
Do you ever wonder what your backyard had growing in it before the forest was cleared and the land razed?
Fragments of the natural landscape persist in even the most disturbed or meticulously groomed areas of our communities; vacant and sparsely developed lots across the street or down the road are good areas to take notes from. These refugia give us a glimpse of what species grew here in the past- they can serve as inspiration and sources of propagating material for restoration. The clues are always there, it just takes the right person to interpret them. We can make sense of the pieces and develop a list of plants to guide your planting efforts. I can supply many hard to find species or get them for you from reputable nurseries.
Curious about the plants that are growing on your property? Many questions may be swirling around your head- What kind are they? Are there any rare plants? Are they native or introduced? What about invasive plants?
I can accompany you on a laid back nature walk answering your questions and pointing out prominent species and important
features of the landscape. These walks can be easily geared to an individual or groups.
Native plants can be incorporated into any landscape design; you can be a purist and have only indigenous species, or mix in natives with a smart selection of non-invasive plants from other areas of the world. Even though natives are better suited to your general area, it is still important to have the right plant in the right place. I can advise you and make recommendations as to what plants could go where; there is a native plant for every application whether its shady and wet or sunny and dry. I want to be clear that I am not a landscape designer per se.
Many common species of plants can be identified readily using Field Guides. However, groups of plants like the asters and sedges may require technical manuals, equipment like dissecting microscopes, and familiarity with specialized vocabulary to accurately identify the plant in question. I can advise you what type of material you would need to properly identify the plant; some ID's can be done using detailed photographs, while others need a specimen of the plant with reproductive structures and information like where it was found (habitat type). Depending on the time of year and lifecycle stage of the plant, identification may not be possible until the next year. Even in the Winter, lots of plants can still be identified, especially woody material like trees and shrubs.
Lectures and Presentations
Native plants are my passion and I love nothing more then talking about them. I can present a generalized lecture or a customized one with a specific focus. Topics include a "These are the plants in your neighborhood" photo tour of some of our most noteworthy natives, propagating and growing native plants, identifying natives, using natives in your landscapes, invasive plant species, and so on.
Growing Consulting and Advice
Native plants can be notoriously difficult to grow, especially from seed. Unlike many garden vegetables, native plant seeds often are in a state of dormancy and certain requirements have to be met in order to get them growing. Seeds in simple dormancy need a moist cold period at about 40 degrees for 60-90 days, then warmth. Viburnums have double dormancy where multiple warm-cold cycles have to be met in order for germination to take place. Don't get frustrated,I can help you, send me your questions.
Just because a piece of land is being developed does not mean that everything growing there needs to be lost. Before the bulldozer lowers its blade we can come in to identify any rare, unique, or otherwise significant plants and quickly develop plans for their extraction. Plants can be removed and stored in a safe area until the building is done.
Invasive Plant Management
Non-native, invasive plants can cause lots of problems in the landscape. In upland areas asiatic bittersweet, multiflora rose, Japanese knotweed, and glossy buckthorn can become established and seemingly engulf everything in their path. Common reed (a.k.a Phragmites) and purple loosestrife can turn a wetland into a monoculture in just a few short years. Don't be too quick to condemn them with the "nuclear option"-herbicide treatment. Understand the situation first and what your objectives are. Depending on the action you take, you may make the situation worse.
All plants become established and thrive where they do for a reason and invasive plants are no different. More often then not our actions or those of others have inadvertently paved the way for the invading army to make land fall. Physical disturbances to our landscape like backfilling, top soil removal, and land clearing can greatly facilitate growth of some invasive non-native plants. Chemical disturbances to the soil and water and hydrological disturbances to wetlands can facilitate Phragmites and Purple loosestrife invasions.
I took on an interesting project in Oqunquit, Maine formulating an invasive plant management plan. Overwhelmed with the sheer volume of aggressive non-native plants like Morrow's Honeysuckle, Bittersweet and a relative new-comer, Black swallowort, the Marginal Way Trail Committee needed to formulate a manageable, realistic, longterm plan.
Scrubbing the length of this one mile long trail free of invasives is simply not feasible. We needed to focus on priority areas that still supported healthy native plant populations. These areas would be released of invasive plants and maintained as needed. Once these areas are "secure", control efforts could be applied to other areas of the trail. Ideally, these reclaimed native areas would serve as educational stops and provide propagating material for restoration efforts.
A copy of this report can be found by clicking on "Marginal Way Trail Invasive Plant Management Plan". Sensitive information on plant locations and other confidential data has been omitted.
Fees are based on services provided and to whom they are given to.
For example- educational institutions, like elementary school nature walks are done at no charge. Plant identification using submitted photographs are also free of charge.
On site visits for private individuals and businesses will be charged based on distance traveled from home base, types of services requested (i.e. botanical inventory, plant identification, invasive species identification, etc., and follow up work. Please contact me directly with your specific interests and needs.
If you are interested in any of these services please contact Shawn Jalbert-
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Native Haunts, 297 Mountain Road, Alfred, Maine, 04002 United States of America
Last Updated on February 11, 2015