[Tweeters] Poplar / Cottonwood Grove at the Fill (Union Bay Natural Area)

Elaine Chuang elc at uw.edu
Wed Sep 28 10:57:51 PDT 2022

First of all, thank you, Connie, for your inimitable voice! To all readers who care about our cavity-nesting birds (Purple Martins, etc), offer plaudits and thanks to D. Z. and his UWBG horticulture staff who have been wonderfully supportive of birds (witness the gourds for Purple Martins sent aloft in 2021 <https://botanicgardens.uw.edu/about/blog/2021/05/08/gourds-go-up-by-connie-sidles/>). In fact this is an opportunity to point out a very fine new snag next to the Washington Arboretum, Graham Visitors’ Center. Some will recall that months ago, several large conifers (redwoods?) needed to be addressed due to safety-concerns-for-humans. Well, more recent visitors will have noticed that one quite tall snag has been left, and has a distinctly ‘modified’ upper few feet - that is the dedicated handiwork of one of those very UWBG horticulture staff (thanks to Larry Hubbell for the role you played in ushering the work): many hours of effort were contributed to creating a bird-nesting cavity!

Let’s put our voices together in some way to suggest that those Western Cottonwoods / Poplars near the Youth Farm not only be transformed into snags of considerable height, but that some cavities be given a nice start in them, with help of the UWBG horticulture staff.

Elaine elc at uw dot edu

From: Constance Sidles <constancesidles at gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2022 6:25 PM
To: Tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Tweeters] Poplar grove at the Fill

Hey tweets, Here's a heads-up: I have just learned that the UWBG is planning on removing the cottonwood grove bordering the east side of the Youth Farm. They have determined that the trees have become unsafe, dropping big limbs without warning. Plus, the kids want to start an orchard as part of their farm, and the cottonwoods need to make way for the kids.

David Zuckerman, manager of UWBG, asked me whether I knew of any hawk nests in that grove. I don't think there are any, though the grove is well-used by many passerines, both resident and migratory, who forage here, nest, roost, and perch.

We are suggesting that UWBG staff think about leaving several of the cottonwoods as limbless snags, which would help woodpeckers and passerines alike. I hope this possibility will be pursued, as we have lost several snags at the Fill in recent years due to sheer age, and the beavers are doing their best to prevent new snags from developing by gnawing all the trees they can get at.

I'm going to suggest that UWBG think about the loss of tree canopy as well. These are big trees and the loss of their canopy cover will be correspondingly big. To mitigate the loss, I'm hoping UWBG will consider planting a grove of evergreens in the area that used to be the road leading into the Dime Lot. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com <mailto:constancesidles at gmail.com>
csidles at constancypress.com <mailto:csidles at constancypress.com>

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