Friday, December 2, 2016

End of Season Invasive Treatment

On the last day of November, I wandered through this little patch of ground near the house in search of invasive shrub seedlings. This is a prime loafing area for many of the birds that routinely visit my feeder. They are joined by some notorious fruit eaters, such as Robins and Cedar Waxwings, that make frequent visits to the pan of freshwater kept near the bird feed. A result of all of these loafing birds is a never-ending supply of invasive shrub seeds falling with the bird droppings.

The treatment area is just slightly less than half an acre, but I managed to accumulate a nice little pile of cut shrubs. Each shrub was cut at ground level and the stump was treated with a 41% glyphosate spray.  The haul consists primarily of Bush Honeysuckle with a few Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose mixed in.

Most of the shrubs are quite small, but a few push up close to 3 feet in height. The plants in the center of this group are Bush Honeysuckle, flanked on the right by a single Multiflora Rose and on the left by a lone Autumn Olive.

Temperatures this fall have been considerably warmer than normal, so many of the invasive plant species have remained green. With most everything else displaying some shade of brown, it’s easy to spot these invaders in the landscape. Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose have now lost all or most of their leaves. This Bush Honeysuckle looks as green as it did midsummer.

I called a halt to this season’s invasive shrub treatments on November 30. Bush Honeysuckles will soon join the other shrubs and shed their leaves. It’s pointless to search for these small invasive shrubs when they have no leaves. A leafless seedling is practically invisible, as demonstrated by this Bush Honeysuckle, the same plant as in the previous photo, hand stripped of its foliage. Larger individuals can certainly be dealt with now, but I seem to have eliminated all of the larger invasive shrubs from within the Blue Jay Barrens borders.  

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