Rhodies... was Re: fox hunting

theo hopkins thopkins at thopkins.demon.co.uk
Sun Jan 23 06:44:05 EST 2000

In article <MPG.12f441d79295aefe989683 at news.ptld.uswest.net>, Nancy
Padberg <padberg at uswest.net> writes
>In article <MPG.12eebe837a11f50a98a5d6 at news.teleport.com>, 
>larryc at teleport.com says...
>> Also native to the Pacific Northwest of North America.  There is a town 
>> on Mt. Hood named Rhododendron, and a town in Southern Oregon named 
>> Azalea (closely related).  The mountains can be beautiful when the 
>> rhodies are in blossom.  
>> In areas where they are native I don't know that they create any 
>> problems.  They are just one more woody shrub that colonizes behind 
>> forest fires and logging operations.  While they are mildly toxic, the 
>> native fauna doesn't seem to suffer from them at all.  Exotic toxic weeds 
>> like tansy ragwort cause a lot more grief in the animal kingdom.

In case anyone wonders why there are some Yanks, mostly from Oregon,
getting in on this particular thread of 'Fox Hunting' (a peculiarly
British sport), it is because I cross posted to alt.forestry and
bionet.agroforestry, two groups dominated (?) by Oregon loggers and

Original posting was in uk.environment.conservation and  uk.environment.
>We live just a couple of miles from Rhododendron, Oregon and was amazed 
>to read this thread on "invasive" Rhododendrons.  Never thought of them 
>in that way.  We have a bit over 2 acres and have only 3 native Rhodies.  
>In the 2 years we've lived here, I have seen just one bloom.  

The problem in the UK seems to be only with R. ponticum, which is an
introduced plant. Sometimes in public parks, etc., ponticum is both
seriously invasive, and much enjoyed by the public for their purple
flower. So park-keepers, etc., remove ponticum, and replant with non-
invasive species. 

In my local national park there is a grant to remove rhodie from
woodlands. This is quite high, I think at £1,500 an acre (maybe it's
£1,500 a hectare?). This is actually more than the value of un-managed
woodland per acre.
>English Ivy 
>and vinca are the real threats around here.  

Now, that's interesting to see that English ivy is causing problems in
the USA. It's common in all woodlands in the UK, and causes no problems
at all.  It's a loved component of woodland and of course gets picked as
a Christmas decoration.

>We have about 100 native 
>plants on our property and hope those invasive plants that are about 
>300ft from our property stay where they are.  Not sure how to prevent the 
>spread.  I just don't think the delicate Calypso bulbosa (Fairy slippers) 
>and Goodyera oblongifolia (Rattlesnake plantain) could withstand the 

I guess what all this shows is how dangerous it can be to move certain
plants out of their natural ecosystems.
>I planted a madrone this year in a dry, sunny spot.  Thought it would be 
>beautiful with a background of tall Western hemlocks.  I hope it grows 
>well here at 1500ft up the west side of Mt. Hood. 
>The Kalmiopsis Wilderness in the Siskiyous is one of the places I want to 
>see before I leave this earth.  So much diversity in one place!
>Take care,

theo hopkins

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