Know your plants, trim bird-wise

As the ‘2020 Slave Lake elm kerfuffle’ indicated it is important to prune trees or bushes in the correct season. Nesting birds are another consideration. It is illegal to interfere with nesting birds. Some nest in trees and bushes and others in tall grass.

Not all plants should be trimmed at the same time. In Alberta, there is an elm pruning ban from April 1 to Sept. 30. Lilacs set their buds in the late summer and fall, so a lilac trimmed in the fall won’t bloom the next year.

The birds most endangered in Alberta tend to live in native grassland. Slave Lake area doesn’t have grassland, but meadows and disturbed areas attract some grassland birds. Marsh wrens like the reeds in marshes. Grass and wildflowers draw savannah sparrows and sharp-tailed grouse.

LSLBO Bander-in-Charge Robyn Perkins says late summer and early fall, is the best time to trim very tall grass as birds are done nesting.

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