Following the May 2018 exploration of thirteen reported Texas ash sites Camcore returned to Texas during the last week of June to collect seed from nine of these sites. Both explorations and collections were successful and would not have been possible without support from Texas State Parks, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, the Army Corp of Engineers, Austin City Parks, and the Tarrant County Water District. In total our collections consisted of seed from 80 new Texas ash trees located in nine different populations across central Texas. This collection captured material from much of the central portion of the species range. Future Texas ash seed collections will likely target outlier populations in Oklahoma as well as the southern and western edge of the range in Texas. While collections were a bit on the warm side and some of the samaras were not as mature as we would have liked we were extremely pleased to collect such large crops from so many new trees and make progress on this important conservation project done in collaboration with the US Forest Service.
With the arrival of spring in the southern Appalachians we returned to our hemlock restoration studies in western North Carolina to apply slow release fertilizer on the required treatments. This task was much more enjoyable without having to work with snow on the ground or wildlife messing with our trees!
During the first two years of the hemlock restoration study we installed game cams in order to get an idea of deer populations near our plots and how this related to browse on the hemlock seedlings. To our surprise browse was almost entirely absent on our trees even though deer were frequently photographed in and around our trees. In addition to deer we captured several bear, bobcat, turkey, coyote, and other wildlife pictures.