Relative Something

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

Compare Contrasts

with 2 comments

I have mixed feelings about the comparison of our woods to our neighbor’s when it comes to the obviousness of difference in controlling the invasive Common Buckthorn. Do you notice the contrast in the images below?

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That line of green leaves on the low trees visible in the images on the right is increasingly dominating the understory beyond our fencelines.

It is pleasing to be able to clearly see the progress I have achieved in my vigilance to remove the buckthorn every year. At the same time, it is unsettling to watch the progress of the invasion playing out on the land surrounding ours.

Meanwhile, remember how happy I was to boast of stocking up on woodchips?

Cyndie has already succeeded in decimating the store of chips, distributing them far and wide for mulch around small trees and plants in the labyrinth and beyond.

We are on the brink of no longer being able to see most of the downed branches available for chipping with the arrival of snow season.

Yesterday, the driveway was still too warm to be covered by the first measurable amount to fall, but the leaves weren’t.

Our landscape turned white overnight last night. Animal tracks are clearly revealed this morning. I didn’t go out yet, but Cyndie said there were no bear footprints on the trails she and Delilah walked. Plenty of deer and an occasional bunny rabbit, though.

I’m going to be comparing our new surroundings today to the contrasting snowless world I walked less than 24 hours ago in my wanderings around the grounds.

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Written by johnwhays

November 14, 2021 at 10:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Given the way that birds spread Buckthorn and the increase in the time you will have at home, perhaps you should volunteer to work on the neighborhood Buckthorn — particularly, where the problem abuts your property line. Would give you some more stuff to chip and slow the assault on your woods. Is there any benefit to the Buckthorn? I know it is used for hedges and if properly trimmed and not allowed to go to seed, it does a good job. Do deer eat the leaves that last a bit longer in the winter season? Any other positive use? What do your neighbors think of the way you are managing your woods?

    wtbell

    November 15, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    • Good questions, Ward. I have been thinking I should volunteer to work into the neighboring woods, but it would be a daunting task that I’d prefer not have stealing time from continuing to improve our forest. We don’t enjoy a good level of communication with the owner, either.
      The only good use for buckthorn is as a controlled hedge, as you describe. It looks lush and green but it is equivalent to a barren desert to butterflies, bees, and insect-eating birds. The deer don’t eat it, instead putting more pressure on surrounding native vegetation that is already at a disadvantage to the longer growing season of buckthorn.
      I doubt any of our neighbors have any idea what is going on in our woods, except later this month the two who deer hunt may be able to perceive the difference if following a wounded doe or buck onto our land.

      johnwhays

      November 15, 2021 at 4:02 pm


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