Tuesday, February 21, 2012

From Fence Row to Field

I finished removing invasive shrubs from the south end of the fence row, so I decided to move on out and get rid of invasives in the adjoining field.  The area is about a quarter of an acre and has had very little done to it during the last 20 years.

A combination of mowing, sawing and lopping easily took care of the Multiflora Rose and Autumn Olive.  I think the fence row is now open enough to allow the prairie grasses to migrate through into this part of the field.  The shrub in the center of the photo looks to be quite dense, but most of that mass is Japanese Honeysuckle.  The vines have been cut off at ground level, so those aerial parts will no longer grow.  Sometime before spring, I’ll pull out the vines so the shrubs can grow normally.

While I was clearing I ran across a couple of massive Autumn Olives.  I cut the stumps high so there are more sprouts to receive the glyphosate herbicide in the spring.  The tall stump is easier to see in thick vegetation, so I’m less likely to fall over it.  It’s also too high for me to accidentally run the mower over if I mow this field again before the stump decomposes.

The Autumn Olive cuttings made a good addition to the brush pile.

One extra large ant mound and two junior associates sit in the center of the quarter acre.  With the area being more open, I would expect the number of mounds to increase.

The north side of the clearing is bounded by a thicket of Dwarf Sumac.  A few Tuliptrees have grown up among the sumacs.  I’ll cut the Tuliptrees and allow the sumacs to grow unchallenged in this spot.

On the side of the field opposite the fence row is the thicket of Virginia Pine.  The pines are also being threatened by Tuliptrees.  Tuliptrees are rapid growers that sprout readily in the areas of low pH soils.  Fortunately, they’re easy to cut and their growth habit makes them easy to section up for placement on the brush pile.

While clearing, I found balloon number one for the 2012 season.  The bleached ribbon and weathered balloon show that this bit of trash has been here for a while.  The annual count I keep is of balloons found at Blue Jay Barrens.  When the balloon actually arrived doesn’t matter.  I’m sure I’ll be finding the remains of fresh balloons once the outdoor party season arrives.

No comments:

Post a Comment