02 March 2009

Arundo Spraying in Carbon Canyon Begins!

After November's devastating Freeway Complex Fire burned nearly the entirety of the Brea side of Carbon Canyon, there was actually a positive outcome, thanks to local preservation group Hills for Everyone and others, who suggested it was an opportune time to deal with the highly invasive arundo donax, which proliferated unchallenged along the banks of Carbon [Canyon] Creek for years.

The urgency was that, because the above-ground portions of the plant were burned off in the fire, the best time to spray the plant is when new growth emerges, allowing for maximum absorbtion of the chemical into the stalks and down to the root system. Follow up treatment would then continue to try to eradicate the plant. Otherwise, an expensive program of labor-intensive cutting of the strong, thick stalks wouls have to come first, followed by spraying. Courtesy of the fires, much of the work was already done.

As reported on this blog in January, an agreement was reached some weeks ago to treat much of the canyon area, although at that time there still needed to be buy-in from several private property owners. Whatever happened with that, the effort has begun.

This morning as I was driving to work, I noticed a truck from the Santa Ana Watershed Authority (SAWA) parked off the side of Carbon Canyon Road near the old La Vida Mineral Springs resort property. A few feet away, a man was spraying the emerging leaves of arundo along the side of the creek.

Hopefully, we'll see a sustained spraying operation followed by further treatment. As more information becomes available, postings will be made. Let's hope some significant progress can be made to obliterate this pest, keep the creek relative clear, and restore some of the natural appearance of the Canyon, especially as plant life begins to reappear in the aftermath of the fire.

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