Sunday, January 29, 2012

Taking Out Some Invasives

While mowing this area earlier in the year, I found a few woody invasives that were too large for the mower, so I left them to be cut later.  I finally got back there with the saw to remove those size XL invasive plants. 

Tuliptrees are quick to grow in the more moisture rich soils in this part of the field.  It doesn’t take long for them to develop into a fair sized tree.

I’m still finding Autumn Olives.  Usually it’s just one plant and I find it before it begins to produce fruit.  There are several massive Autumn Olive shrubs on properties close to Blue Jay Barrens, so I expect the influx of seed to continue.  I’m just glad to have reached the point where the seed is no longer produced here.

The seed for this American Crabapple, Pyrus coronaria, probably came from trees growing near the house that were planted many years ago as part of an Ohio Division of Wildlife habitat improvement program.  Over the years, I haven’t found more than a dozen of these volunteers growing in the fields and fence rows.  That’s rather surprising considering the thousands of little apples the parent trees have produced.

Care must be taken when working around this crabapple.  The short branches form a sharp spine at the tip that is capable of penetrating most material used for jackets, pants or boot soles.  This tree had three trunks, but the branches were so entangled that the tree sections had to be cut apart.

With the invasives removed, the field is looking exceptionally nice.  The mild weather and abundant fruit crop have allowed the birds to lead a relatively stress free life this winter.  The clusters of sumac fruits, a last resort food of most birds, remain untouched.

The Flowering Dogwoods are loaded with flower buds.  They should make a beautiful display in the spring.  I’m really anxious to see how this field develops during the next growing season.

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