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In July 202l, as part a forest restoration effort, Free the Fern began a Native Plant Propagation Project. Lead by Free the Fern member, Teresa Gagné, seven members worked together along the Champlain Heights Trail System to pot 17 softwood cuttings of native plants. Each member will monitor and care for 2-3 pots, each of which include 2-3 softwood cuttings.

Native plants included: salal, trailing blackberry, red flowering currant, Pacific ninebark, orange honeysuckle, twinberry honeysuckle, baldhip rose, ocean spray, and red huckleberry.

We will check in with our members 2 weeks after collecting samples to monitor how the cuttings are going. Then we will do regular check-ins every month. Depending on how well they are doing, we may consider re-potting the cuttings in the fall of 2021, so that each cutting will be in its own pot to continue to root. If the plants are well rooted, we hope to plant them back into the Champlain Heights trail in the spring of 2022.

Plant Propagation Experiment (Vol 2)

On July 10, 2022 Teresa and Denis led a softwood cutting Propagation Experiment (vol 2)

7 volunteers gathered to collect the following cuttings:

trailing blackberry – 5

Red huckleberry – 2

mock orange – 3

gooseberry – 3

tall Oregon grape – 1

baldhip rose – 8

red flowering currant – 9

All these cuttings were potted in 50/50 peat moss and sand mix and placed in our Free the Fern greenhouse.

We also experimented with collecting seeds from Pacific bleeding heart and red columbine. These seeds will be dried and stored until late fall when they will be directly planted in the Red Alder Trail.