The Butterfly Palace, Inc.

Paul Cherubini monarch at
Sat Jan 26 00:01:33 EST 2002

Pat Ogletree wrote:

> Paul,
> Are the Blue Gum Eucalyptus one of the faster growing eucalyptus? How
> old would these trees need to be before the Monarchs would use them?
> Would you explain the reason for planting in a U-shape? I can see how
> the Monarchs would need protection by the outer trees, while
> overwintering in the inner trees. But this seems to imply a tight group
> of trees.

Well Pat,  in 1981 in Ventura, Calif. (on the Calif. coast,
just down the road from where you live) a farmer planted a new 
Avocado orchard on a bare piece of ground. The farmer also planted
intersecting rows of blue gum eucalyptus trees 
surrounding the orchard to help shield the young trees from
the strong ocean breezes.

By 1989 these extremely fast growing blue gum eucalyptus trees
were "attracting" 50,000 monarchs. So in a scant 8 years a very large,
major California monarch overwintering site was (unintentionally)
created from scratch.

This experience teaches us how easy it is to create a giant new monarch 
overwintering site in about a decade at hardly no cost ($500-1,000
worth of trees) to the taxpayers.

But like I said, you will be hard pressed to find any monarch conservationists
interested in creating new overwintering sites in this way on existing
government owned land that the taxpayers already have paid for.

Instead, conservationists want millions of taxpayer dollars spent purchasing 
existing monarchs overwintering sites (90% of these are man made too)
on privately owned land and hundreds of thousands of more dollars 
to "manage" these sites (the blue gum eucalyptus has a 300 year 
lifespan, is almost 100% tolerant of droughts, floods, freezes & fires, 
hence I would argue needs no "management").

Paul Cherubini


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