Tom's Blog

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Not too early to spray bad green stuff?

Some of the south- and west-facing woods are essentially snow-free, and are starting to show patches of green. Everything that I have seen has been bad, nonnatives that are probably left over from late fall growth and have been overwintering under the snow. The photos here are from Reese Woods in Shorewood Hills, but could probably be found in lots of other places. The big patch in the photo above is Vinca minor, which is probably only a "minor" problem.

But the photo to the left is motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), a nonnative that is fairly widespread in southern Wisconsin and worth getting rid of. I've seen this in lots of disturbed places at Pleasant Valley Conservancy, such as road cuts and edges of parking spots. It is a perennial, and hence can only be reliably eradicated with herbicide. We had lots of this in the areas cleared in the East Basin, and spent quite a bit of time before planting spot spraying with glyphosate. Right now it is really easy to spot, because there are few other green things (and those that are present are probably also nonnatives). The ideal time to spray, as there is nothing "good" yet, so that anything green is bad.

However, there is a narrow spray window now, because in a couple of weeks some good species, will start to show up such as early buttercup. Never pass up a chance to spray when the conditions are favorable.


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