WELCOME TO SURREY'S GREEN TIMBERS URBAN FOREST

Are you ready for a new challenge? Do you like nature, trees, and -- most importantly -- people? The Green Timbers Heritage Society is looking for a few people able to take this institution (est. 1989) to the next level with fresh thinking, a positive attitude and an understanding of how to work with volunteers and branches of City government. Ideal for retired people with an interest in preserving natural areas. 

We have several positions opening up in November, 2014:

1.  President: as chair of the organization you will be responsible for the overall direction of the society, be familiar with the history and challenges facing this unique urban forested area, and be willing and able to communicate effectively with different stakeholders. You should be comfortable with email, the phone and meeting people. Time commitment: up to 5 hours a week.

2.  Treasurer: The Green Timbers Heritage Society is involved in the administration of different projects, including the Surrey Natural Areas Partnership (SNAP). The budget is over $150,000. You will be responsible for writing cheques, demanding receipts and keeping the books in order. It helps if you know which side of the ledger credits and debits are. Time commitment: up to 5 hours a month.

3.  Directors-at-large: We're also looking for people to help with other projects. Time commitment: whatever you can give.

If you're interested in education and preserving and enhancing the Green Timbers Urban Forest please send an email to GreenTimbersSociety@gmail.com.

Scouring Rush

Scouring Rush - Equisetales Equisetaceae Equisetum hyemale

 
 
 

Identification & Description:

Stem:
Erect, evergreen, unbranched or irregularly branched when older, .2 to .75 inch in diameter, hollow, jointed, ridged; ridges with silica deposits.

Leaves:
Inconspicuous, reduced to small tooth-like scales fused together in a cylindrical sheath at each node.

Sheath:
Flattened or flared at the top, .2 to .75 inch long, green when young, developing dark brown or black ring, portion above the ring becoming tan, white, or grayish; teeth numerous, persistent or shed, lanceolate, less than .2 inch long, firm and stiff to thin and paper-like, twisted, blackish, margins colorless, tips pointed.

Inflorescence:
Cones, solitary, sessile or short-stalked, ellipsoid, .2 to 1 inch long, terminal; tip ending in abrupt, flexible point; cone composed of spore-bearing bodies; spores numerous, minute, spherical.

Physical Characteristics
Perennial growing to 1m. It is hardy to zone 5. The seeds ripen from July to August. We rate it 2 out of 5 for usefulness.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Edible Uses
Root; Stem.
Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) - cooked. An asparagus substitute. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Roots - dried and then cooked. A source of starch. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

A further report says that the peeled stems, base of the plant, root and tubers were eaten raw by the N. American Indians, the report went on to say that this may be inadvisable.

Other Uses
Dye; Fungicide; Liquid feed; Musical; Paper; Parasiticide; Polish; Sandpaper; Scourer.
The stems are very rich in silica. They are used for scouring and polishing metal and as a fine sandpaper. The stems are first bleached by repeated wetting and drying in the sun. They can also be used as a polish for wooden floors and furniture.

The infused stem is an effective fungicide against mildew, mint rust and blackspot on roses. It also makes a good liquid feed[54]. Used as a hair rinse it can eliminate fleas, lice and mites.

A light pink dye is obtained from the stem.

The hollow stems have been used as whistles. Another report says that the stem joints are pulled apart and used by children to produce a whistling sound.

Cultivation details
Prefers a moist soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5.

Plants are hardy to about -30°c.

The stems of this species were once exported to Britain in quantity from Holland so that they could be used as an abrasive for cleaning pots and pans.

Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

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