Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cutting Autumn Olive

With the lengthening days and the time change, it’s now light enough after I get home from work for me to go outside and do something before it gets dark. So far we’ve only saved cloudy daylight. I’m hoping we can soon save some sunny daylight. I went out yesterday and cut some Autumn Olive. This is an area that was thick with Autumn Olive and roses last year. It was so thick with invasives that it was impractical to mark them all after they were cut. I walked through this summer and sprayed all the sprouts I could find, but I missed several.

This is one of the Autumn Olives that failed to get sprayed. The roots must have a lot of stored energy to be able to jump back up to this size in one year. At least things were open enough this year that I could walk through without risking my life.

This is the wicked part of the Autumn Olive. Often mistaken for a thorn, it’s really a strong, pointy branch. The bump on the side is a bud and there is also a bud on the tip. During the winter, these branches are sharp enough to rip through any unprotected skin. I believe these may be what protected Sleeping Beauty in her Castle.

Mowing Autumn Olive is a job for DR Brush. These branches can penetrate a standard inflatable rubber tire like that found on JR. DR’s hard rubber tires are unbothered by anything pointy. Once the buds begin to grow they lose the point and are no longer a threat.

Cutting causes Autumn Olive to develop a mass of stump sprouts.

All of those sprouts came from the stump in the lower left. If left to grow, all the cut sprouts will develop their own mass of sprouts and you’ll have a real tangle.

The rainy weather caused more dead trees to fall. It looks like the Autumn Olive has put up a barricade to keep me out.

The DR isn’t stopped by much. Red flags now mark the stumps of the cut Autumn Olive. There was still quite a little stronghold here, but I think next year will see a great reduction.
Note: I've corrected the duplicated text at the end of my Tree Stumps post if anyone is interested in going back and seeing what I meant to say. Thanks to my Unofficial Proof Reader for pointing out that error to me.

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