Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Pernicious Invasive

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It never stops. The unending intrusion of Common Buckthorn spreading anywhere that birds perch requires equally persistent vigilance to thwart. While I have given our largest segment of woods the most consistent annual attention, the small grove near the road dominated by poplar trees seems to have slipped my notice last year.

There were a couple of inch-plus diameter trunks that I had cut in the past but forgot to watch the next year. They had sprouted twice the new growth since I’d made that cut. Oops.

When I come upon tree-sized specimens, I often cut the trunk off a few feet above ground to leave the stump visible. The next season, many new sprouts will erupt from around the cut and my plan is to simply break those off enough times the root system finally stops trying and dies. Sometimes I forget to follow up.

In addition to the big ones, there were a frustrating number of little sprouts scattered all throughout the small segment of trees.

Luckily, those little ones are easy to pull out, roots and all, by hand. I just need to spot them and navigate the tangle of undergrowth to reach each one. And even when you think you’ve pulled the last, there’s always one more that I somehow missed.

At least I’ve given this challenge enough attention that it’s manageable at this point and the progress is noticeable. The surrounding woods of my neighbor’s property are filled with many tree-sized sections that haven’t been tended to in all the years we’ve lived here.

The difference is obvious and significant.

Speaking of that property to our north that was supposedly auctioned off on the courthouse steps in July, another neighbor recently mentioned a possibility that the sale never went through for some undetermined reason. Saturday afternoon the guy was mowing the weeds on the field that had been left fallow all summer, supporting the likely assumption of continued ownership.

The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.



Written by johnwhays

November 8, 2021 at 7:00 am

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