July 3, 2015: Various methods exist for eliminating invasive weeds from a field of tall grass. Volunteer Susan Guarlnick cut, removed and solarized invasive brown knapweed in the lower meadow using pruners.
Selective Cutting/Solarizing Spotted Knapweed Seed HeadsThe following day I cut and removed large clumps of brown knapweed flowers and seed heads using a sickle. Faster than with a pruner, I was still able to selectively leave wildflowers like black- eyed-susan and goldenrod untouched.
After mastering the art of cutting and uprooting a smaller multiflora rose, Michelle Mitard and her two sons Russel and Kyle eliminated a large shrub that hid the newly blazed trail.
Once the shrub was removed the trail came into view.
Russel and Kyle are boy scouts who will receive service points for their volunteer work.
July 4, 2015: A line of small autumn olive shrubs marked the outer edge of the former horse paddock. Although attractive, these shrubs are not native and are spreading by birds throughout Long Island.
Debbie Hanley and Jim Bentson cut eight small autumn olive shrubs, uprooting them with a large weed wrench. Later, lateral roots were extracted (unfortunately, not entirely) to prevent regrowth from any remaining segments.
July 8, 2015: Approaching the lower fence, I discovered a tree hidden behind multiflora rose, oriental bittersweet and porcelain berry. Wearing thick leather work gloves, I spent an hour or two cutting down the shrub and vines with long loppers.
Once freed from the tangle of invasive plants the tree turned out being native black walnut. These trees have the reputation of producing chemicals that inhibit plants from growing beneath its canopy. However, it appears non-native invasives are far from being sensitive.
The old fence with its narrow gate was an obstacle for the crew and machines that mowed the trail through the meadow. It turned out to be a double fence line where invasives had established a tangled foothold within the ten feet of space separating them.
Thanks to the powerful efforts of Karin Ralph, a twenty year landscaping professional, and farmer Jim, we cut and removed multiflora rose, oriental bittersweet, porcelain berry and a new arrival, creeping euonymus, from between the two fences, widening the meadow’s entrance.