This old fence row was once choked with Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose, two non-native plants with a nasty reputation for overrunning and destroying native habitats.
After several years
of battling non-native shrub infestations, it looked like 2013 would be my year
to get ahead of the invaders.
With the stump treatment method I’m getting
almost 100% kill. The growth rings shown
on this stump illustrate how rapidly a small Autumn Olive can grow into a
difficult to handle monster.
Root sprouts produce a thicket in a circle
around the dead stump.
It’s aggravating work, but I’ve
not had any regrowth follow this procedure.
I’d like to know what conditions cause root sprouting instead of death,
but I have run out of large Autumn Olive, so there are no subjects here for
sometimes possible to pull these from the soil, but the likelihood is high that
the stems will break at ground level and the plant will resprout. They are also susceptible to a diluted
glyphosate solution applied to the leaves.
Since I don’t carry multiple herbicide solutions with me in the field,
my default solution is to cut these little guys and spray their tiny
stumps. The biggest problem for me is
seeing the pinhead sized stumps.
I knew that it hadn’t been there
before and it was far too developed to be a seedling.
Then why was it
I guess I’ll have to be careful about how I
dispose of the cut material.
While searching for any overlooked Autumn Olives, I kept watch for the
new growth of Multiflora Rose. When
found, each was cut and stump treated as described earlier.
This particular specimen is one that was growing
just a few feet from a frequently traveled trail. I passed it several hundred times without
realizing it was a Multiflora Rose.
canes visible at ground level were casually dismissed as grape vines all these
years. Pulling this giant from the tree
was a challenge, but it is now gone.
This trait of growing up through the tree branches to reach sunlight is
demonstrated by both Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose. Even when you know it’s possible, it can
still be a surprise.
The dried leaves can take a month or more to
drop and the canes will remain upright for over a year.
have yet to find any regrowth from treated Multiflora Rose stumps.
This patch was most
troublesome. Dead leaves clearly show
canes that were cut and treated. Two
canes covered in white flowers are from still living rose plants in the
thicket. I was a bit scratched up, but
when I finally crawled out of that mess, every live cane had been cut and
I had been through all of these areas during
the past few years to cut the larger fruit producing specimens. My goal now was to come as close as possible
to completely eradicating the invasive shrubs from the property. Using alternating lines of blue and red
flags to delineate a work area, working one narrow strip at a time, I cut and treated invasive shrubs on
Eight acres of prairie fields
were due for mowing according to my rotating schedule. This activity is normally done in December,
but I chose to begin on November 1 while the Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose
were still at a stage of growth that was susceptible to herbicide treatment. I finished the year feeling that the control
of Autumn Olive, Multiflora Rose, Bush Honeysuckle and Japanese Barberry at
Blue Jay Barrens was now a maintenance issue.
I know that birds will still carry seeds onto the property and I’ll have
to deal with the new shrubs that sprout, but at least for a few invasive
species, I feel I am now in control.