Sitka Spruce Planting...
On February 6th, volunteers and staff planted seedling Sitka spruce along the edge of the Kingston Salt Marsh on the north side of the W. Kingston Bridge. With shovels and spades in hand, socially distant teams planted a total of 83 seedlings, with 37 still to plant due to last weekend's snow. Special thanks to volunteers Kate Joncas, David Traylor, Kim Greenhill, Dano Pereida, and Ann Rivers for the making the afternoon a success.
For several years now, staff and volunteers have noticed a large die-off of Sitka spruce along the edges of the salt marsh, and it appears the trees are “drowning” due to an increase in standing water. We are looking for answers by measuring the size and condition of both live and dead spruce, the levels of soil saturation, and the salinity of the water in the surface and soil. In addition to studying adult trees, we are setting up an “experiment” by planting Sitka spruce seedlings around the marsh edge (made possible by generous donations from Sitka Spruce Project supporters). Trees dying and falling into the marsh are an important source of nutrients for the plants and animals there, and the survival of young trees at various distances from the edge may help determine if the salt marsh is expanding since the culvert removals, in addition, an important resource is being replaced along the marsh edge.