Earth Day Volunteer Effort to Help LBJ National Historical Park Reduce the Invasion of Alien Species

We did it. As you may have noticed below, Town Creek - It's an Adventure! Creek Cleanup Notice, I described our efforts to help the park work on their own Town Creek and wetlands riparian habitat projects. If you're interested in the details, read below, but here I am pasting my summary of how our efforts are now beginning to demonstrate benefits to our approach towards the major invasive species in our area, Ligustrum, Chinese Tallow, and Japanese Honeysuckle. Here is the excerpt from my enewsletter to our volunteer group and those allies working on or supporting our efforts:

To start off, I have news and information I want to share about Town Creek and LBJ NHP’s riparian habitat and the progress we are making on our efforts at both places. I think you’ll be surprised.

First, some great news. Chinese tallows are dying, tall limbs are loosing their leaves. The other day I walked to the creek behind downtown and took a look at the tallows I had girdled prior to our work at the Settlement. I discovered several branches had lost their leaves and died. I was stunned, quite frankly, but a day or so later, showed Cali when she came downtown to give me a copy of the riparian book she obtained from Hill Country Alliance (as I already have a copy of this book, the one she gave me will be available to anyone wishing to learn more about natives vs alien invasive ones.). We made certain the limbs were ones I had girdled which meant trudging into the underbrush to manually get hold of the actual branch and make sure it was the object of our interest. They were and we confirmed the dying branches. So the next day I checked the trees at the Settlement, and the same phenomenon is happening. The trees are dying high up - photos included. As this process continues, I am sure we will see a significant set back for this species on the wetland and portions of the creek we’ve worked. And this bodes well for our efforts and lends credulity to our current work and points the way to further efforts.

Oh, and speaking of girdling. I checked in with Cliff Tyllick about several things and he realized that he might have misled me into thinking that Ligustrum had to be girdled at the base of the tree. But it was I who misunderstood, not Cliff, and as the photo of Alison Northup showed in the TXDOT online magazine, you may girdle the Ligustrum anyplace the volunteer feels most comfortable working. That means waist high or so is not a problem. I would also believe, based on what is happening with our Chinese Tallows, that a wider girdle would be more effective than a smaller one. I would imitate the work we did on the tallows as an experiment and see if we don’t get better results. I would also recommend the same technique we used on the tallows, to scrape away the bark and living layer of the Ligustrum with the use of a flexible small saw in place of the linoleum scrapers we used. The saw makes quick work of the scraping and can bite deeper into the trunk when used well. But this is up to the volunteer to decide how to work the Ligustrum, just doesn’t have to be at the base, but does have to include each branch of a single shrub or tree.

To be continued...

Lähettänyt billarbon billarbon, 6. heinäkuuta 2019 02:36

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billarbon

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Toukokuu 4, 2019 11:55 AM CDT

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Toukokuu 14, 2019 12:12 PM CDT

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Specimen up the creeklette from the bridge; at least three good sized trees at this juncture.

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Toukokuu 14, 2019 12:21 PM CDT

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Numerous specimen in riparian habitat along dry creek.

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