Tom's Blog

Monday, March 9, 2009

Controlling woody invasives in the wetland

We awoke today with beautiful ice crystals over everything. Although scenic, the new snow complicated our field work. The steep south slope was too slippery for accurate work, so we turned to the wetland, which is quite flat and easy to maneuver in.

Last summer the Barn Prairie and one of our better sedge meadows were both invaded by a clonal willow, and I was determined to get rid of them this winter. The solution was basal bark treatment with Garlon in oil, and we spent several hours at this task.

We found more than willows, however. There was the occasional box elder, plus a number of black walnut saplings. We even found a bit of buckthorn. We treated everything woody except for the few black elderberry plants.

Once we finished the Barn Prairie and sedge meadow, we moved onto the Crane Prairie, which also had some of the same species, plus a lot of brambles.

It was interesting to discover in the Crane Prairie a rather dense infestation of brambles and other woody plants in a circle around the single cherry tree that we left when we were clearing this area. At the time we thought it might be nice to leave a single tree, but now I know better. This tree is a great perch for birds, who deposit seeds of woody plants here. Obviously, this tree will have to go!


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