How New Jersey Plans to Relocate Flooded ‘Ghost Forests’ Inland

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
13,102
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Pines; Bamber area
I remember one forester or PHD teacher in the past who claimed cedar seedlings won't survive unless fenced in. I hope they learned by now that's untrue.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,700
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Could you explain that Bob? I had several very nice groves of cedar out in the woods on my property when I moved here in 2006. Every year I lose a number of them in storms, looks like they have just gotten old and weak and they snap off. Lots of little seedlings sprout in these areas but none of them survive because the deer eat them. It won't be that many more years before all my cedars are gone.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
13,102
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Pines; Bamber area
I don't know Boyd, maybe you have more deer than your seedlings can overcome. Is this true cedar swamp with standing water in hollows and wet sphagnum moss? Sounds like your stand is drying out. Are you positive it's deer eating them?
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,082
392
Little Egg Harbor
I suspect the forester Bob is referring to was not likely speaking in such absolutes. If it was George Zimmerman, I'm sure that wasn't the case. As we all know, deer are a natural part of our local environment, but so were the large predators that once controlled their population. Add to lack of natural predatation the adaptability of deer to living in close proximity to humans, similar to Canada Geese, gulls and raccoons and you have a population way out of balance. Besides cedar, they've over-browsed native understory plants in countless suburban woodlots, often allowing invasive alien species to move in and take their place. I had six deer in my back yard just last night, which is the first such occurrence in the 35 years I've lived here. My hostas and any other plant they like are eaten to the ground, also a new experience here.

But going back to the deer enclosures, I've was shown two experimental plots some years ago, where effects of fencing on cedars were studied. Both were old clearcuts where cedar was returning poorly. A portion of the plot was surrounded by a solar-powered electric fence. The height didn't keep motivated deer from getting over but greatly reduced the number that did. At the time I visited the sites the young cedar inside the fence was growing as thick as a cornfield, while the trees outside the fence were primarily maple, gum, and a scattering of magnolia. The contrast was striking. So, yes, they do work. It's simply not an implication that cedar will not grow anywhere without the fencing. There are two many variables as you go from site to site to say that.
 
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Boyd

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No, not a swamp (although there have been times of flooding when there was standing water). It's a low area adjacent to Stephen Creek. Not "positive" since I haven't actually seen deer eat them. But there are lots of deer, I see them in the area, and I see the little cedar shoots have been chewed off down to the ground. In all the years I've lived here, there hasn't been any significant regrowth of cedars

Anyway, it seems to me that fencing might help control this in my specific case, but that would be difficult and not something I want to do. So I'll just let nature take its course.
 
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Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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There are quite a few in Bass River and the fence seems to have worked. However, they are huge now and the fence is falling down.
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
I suspect the forester Bob is referring to was not likely speaking in such absolutes. If it was George Zimmerman, I'm sure that wasn't the case.
Well, you know me German, I see a lot of these areas, and I see cedar coming back like gangbusters very frequently, with no barrier. It may be the deer don't like to tread on too soft of a ground or something. As to George, I should not knock him, he is more educated than me and more experienced. But he did say something to that effect. This is from the link following.

1663719912111.png

 
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c1nj

Explorer
Nov 19, 2008
242
131
IMHO, most of the coastal cedar mortality was a direct result of Hurricane Sandy. The tress succumbed to the salt water within 5 years.
 

TommyP

Explorer
Mar 30, 2022
125
103
Clementon
thomaspluck.substack.com
“Bob Williams, owner of Pine Creek Forestry, says it’s past time for the state to more actively manage its vast public forests. He has helped manage cedar on private lands in New Jersey for decades. About 15 years ago, as part of a remediation project for a private landowner, he bulldozed 25 acres of Atlantic white cedar in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, reducing it to little more than a dirt patch. Today, the site has grown back so thick with young cedars that it’s difficult to walk through—proof of how the Pinelands ecosystem thrives on disturbance, he says.”

Maybe it’s not as fragile as NJCF claims it is.

But I am happy that we’ll have more Atlantic white cedar. And I don’t find anything to disagree with in the article.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,309
292
Near Mt. Misery
Bob, I guess it comes down to what German was saying; every site is unique and subject to variables. Although, I think it’s great you have seen healthy growth without fencing! I was skeptical when I first heard about the state’s initiative on this but after considering why we have seen such a decline (even excluding climate change) it seems the term, remediation, is appropriate.

As for deer, we have been seeing them in the rivers. Blue tongue? I don’t know. This might be from diminished foraging ground from the fire and drought resulting in malnutrition and increased susceptibility to disease.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
13,102
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Pines; Bamber area
Bob, I guess it comes down to what German was saying; every site is unique and subject to variables. Although, I think it’s great you have seen healthy growth without fencing! I was skeptical when I first heard about the state’s initiative on this but after considering why we have seen such a decline (even excluding climate change) it seems the term, remediation, is appropriate.

As for deer, we have been seeing them in the rivers. Blue tongue? I don’t know. This might be from diminished foraging ground from the fire and drought resulting in malnutrition and increased susceptibility to disease.
Yes, Hemorrhagic Disease will do that. We saw quite a few dead in the water at Lakehurst. It's the fever they get from the disease.
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,288
744
Atco, NJ
Yes, Hemorrhagic Disease will do that. We saw quite a few dead in the water at Lakehurst. It's the fever they get from the disease.
I’ve seen several fawns laying in the middle of the roads especially near what puddles were left and one dead one. It’s been a rough year for this years fawns.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
13,102
3,325
Pines; Bamber area
I’ve seen several fawns laying in the middle of the roads especially near what puddles were left and one dead one. It’s been a rough year for this years fawns.
Yes, I found one fawn in the middle of a dried up creek 2 weeks ago. Just lying on sedges as if it was asleep. They call it sacred river by the Tulpehocken. I was shocked, because it was barely stiff and had no marks on it.
 
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Bog Mermaid

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Nov 8, 2021
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Folsom
Yes, I found one fawn in the middle of a dried up creek 2 weeks ago. Just lying on sedges as if it was asleep. They call it sacred river by the Tulpehocken. I was shocked, because it was barely stiff and had no marks on it.
Definitely an uptick in mortality in Wharton. The ones I’ve seen this fall on the Batsto are smaller, not fawns but maybe a year old? 3 on the banks, 2 in the water. Saw the same situation on the south branch of the Rancocas Creek last fall, but full grown deer, even a large buck.
Recently found one young deer in a small clearing on one of the little islands that dot the area coming into Batsto lake. Could smell that stench, and out of concern tracked it to make sure it was an animal . Looked like it found a peaceful resting spot surrounded by a grove of young cedars, and took a final rest.
 
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