IN THIS ISSUE...
Vol. 4 | No. 2 | February 2011
February Management Recommendations
- Develop a safe burn plan.
- Check and complete fire breaks.
- Obtain burn authorization from local Division of Forestry – day of burn.
- Begin conducting prescribed burns as needed.
- It is an extremely poor seed year for longleaf on many properties in the region. Delay burning one more year in blocks where you captured longleaf regeneration last year.
- Plant longleaf seedlings where needed.
- Make plans for thinning and other cultural treatments in stands for periods of dry weather.
- Prepare fire breaks to burn 50-60% of area in 25-500 acre patches depending on weather, populations, and predation.
- Complete disking of fields for brood habitat.
- Spread supplemental feed at 2 bu/ac/yr (we will customize each year).
- Take soil samples in dove field.
- Burn low areas and turkey woods in late February if dry.
- Complete any planting of mast-producing trees and shrubs as needed for wildlife food and cover.
- Disk strips in fallow fields to promote ragweed and partridge pea for bobwhite quail.
- Prescribe burn pine stands.
- Lime/bottom plow old fields if needed.
- Draw down moist soil management ponds for migrating shore birds.
- Clean and repair eastern bluebird nest boxes.
- Clean and repair wood duck nest boxes; install new ones.
March Management Recommendations
- Burning after bud break on woody stems (usually after March 1) appears to be the most effective means of reducing vigor of re-sprouting
- Consider burning stands of native grasses mixed with domestic grasses as this time of the year.
- It is a moderately grassy year. Use ignition patterns that result in less intense burns and minimize crown scorch, e.g. spot ignition, lighting flanks into the wind, and using backing fire, instead of strip head fires.
- Along major highways, minimize the distance burned along the highway edge in one day, and mop up aggressively to prevent smoke on the roads.
- Because it is a extremely poor mast year for longleaf on many properties, put off burning for 1-2 years in places where you captured regeneration last year.
- Initiate timber stand improvement thinnings, hardwood removal and other cultural treatments in forest stands.
- Delay cutting in areas where heavy equipment will cause severe rutting.
- Drain Duck Ponds and take soil samples.
- Supplemental Feed at 2 bu/ac/yr.
- Burn old-field lands now through April.
- Nest predator management should begin now if needed.
- Take time for dog training.
- Prepare wider fire lanes when burning during the driest time of year and always have water tanks available for suppression.
- Avoid disking around wetlands and ponds as many reptiles and amphibians are actively moving to wetter areas for breeding.
- Plant native grasses, forbs, and legumes.
- Prepare for wildflower bloom season in late March in most parts of Florida as tubular flowers like honeysuckle will attract wildlife species, such as the ruby-throated hummingbird.
- De-water flooded areas to promote growth of wetland vegetation.
- Mow clover patches to stimulate re-growth while trying to avoid areas where ground nesting birds may lay eggs.
- Check bat houses for warping, caulk or replace.
- Monitor gopher tortoise burrows in burned areas.
- Monitor bluebird boxes.
- Monitor wood duck boxes.