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Thread: Outdoor Enclosure Zone 7 - Copes Grey Tree Frog

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    Default Outdoor Enclosure Zone 7 - Copes Grey Tree Frog

    I'm constructing an outdoor vivarium for my rescued Grey Tree Frogs. They were tadpoles in a garbage bin and now they are ready for release, however, nearby construction has eliminated many tree and lack of habitat has stirred up frog eating animals. I've grown attached to my little friends. They will overwinter in a new habitat which will stand 6'x2 on pilings 2' about ground. There will be suitable screening and protection against raccoons, snakes and birds. I am going to put native plants in this "cage" but dirt will only be 4" deep with loose leaf on top of ABG substrate. What shrub, grass or plant will withstand Zone 7 temperatures yet have root structure that can survive in only 4" of substrate? I'm wondering what else I can use in this structure that will provide protection against heat and winter cold.

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    Default Re: Outdoor Enclosure Zone 7 - Copes Grey Tree Frog

    Are you building it to be 6 feet wide or 6 feet tall? If you go high (which the frogs would prefer) then you could allocate more than 4" of substrate. Four inches isn't a lot for larger plants, but they will make do with the substrate by growing horizontally versus vertical and horizontal. Any smaller perennial will work ok, just take a stroll through the woods and do some collecting. a few things about field collecting plants; familiarize yourself with local species and laws, some plants are protected and removing them is a no-no. And if you pull a plant and it has a tap root (think dandelion) it will not work in only 4" of substrate.


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    Default Re: Outdoor Enclosure Zone 7 - Copes Grey Tree Frog

    Quote Originally Posted by deranged chipmunk View Post
    Are you building it to be 6 feet wide or 6 feet tall? If you go high (which the frogs would prefer) then you could allocate more than 4" of substrate. Four inches isn't a lot for larger plants, but they will make do with the substrate by growing horizontally versus vertical and horizontal. Any smaller perennial will work ok, just take a stroll through the woods and do some collecting. a few things about field collecting plants; familiarize yourself with local species and laws, some plants are protected and removing them is a no-no. And if you pull a plant and it has a tap root (think dandelion) it will not work in only 4" of substrate.


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    Yes, you're right about using natives and that excites my mind with creativity. My outdoor enclosure will be 6' tall. Although there are plenty of small pines I can put in pots, the sap might be a problem for the little guys. I even thought of building the enclosure around small trees already established but I'm familiar with how the Greys are escape artists. Many grasses have sharp edges and again, the deep root. The vertical element is the dilemma and I'm thinking now, that the "tree" doesn't have to be living but can be carefully installed branches. Native plants use to abound around here but new construction is eliminating so much. I do occasionally find Jack-in-the Pulpit, Violets and native Orchids. Ajuga is abundant, treated like a weed though Josh's sells them for vivarium use. Ajuga goes dormant in the winter and so many other natives must go dormant or they will die in the vivarium. I learned the hard way. As you suggest, I will go with more than 4" ABG substrate. After all, my "friends" need to bury themselves in the winter. Thank you for your reply.

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    Default Re: Outdoor Enclosure Zone 7 - Copes Grey Tree Frog

    Quote Originally Posted by Treesniffer View Post
    Yes, you're right about using natives and that excites my mind with creativity. My outdoor enclosure will be 6' tall. Although there are plenty of small pines I can put in pots, the sap might be a problem for the little guys. I even thought of building the enclosure around small trees already established but I'm familiar with how the Greys are escape artists. Many grasses have sharp edges and again, the deep root. The vertical element is the dilemma and I'm thinking now, that the "tree" doesn't have to be living but can be carefully installed branches. Native plants use to abound around here but new construction is eliminating so much. I do occasionally find Jack-in-the Pulpit, Violets and native Orchids. Ajuga is abundant, treated like a weed though Josh's sells them for vivarium use. Ajuga goes dormant in the winter and so many other natives must go dormant or they will die in the vivarium. I learned the hard way. As you suggest, I will go with more than 4" ABG substrate. After all, my "friends" need to bury themselves in the winter. Thank you for your reply.
    As a NC native and wildflower buff, I am so jealous of what you have to choose from! What about galax, it is everywhere, partridge berry is a good groundcover, trilliums they can sit on, yellow and purple fringed orchids, bird's eye violet, oh my! It might be a good idea to use some of the dirt from where you dig them so it is the right acidity for the plants. Most of these are shallow-rooted, I believe (I mean, I never dug them up to transplant them into a nature trail, wink) . Probably not kosher to dig them up but...as long as you leave three times as many as you dig..seems ok to me You might have to go up near Boone or Grandfather Mountain to find good ones. Also old fallen and cleaned branches of rhododendron without leaves are the right kind of twisty to look good and be functional for vertical perching.

    Finally-check all of them for toxicity, in case crickets nibble on them and they end up in your frogs.
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