One important feature offered on the Got Weeds? website is this information exchange which allows viewers to search for invasive plant scenarios similar to their own. There is an abundance of good work being done throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, and neighboring states; my goal is to highlight success stories where manual control methods triumphed. Even if the efforts are not yet fully successful, there is still value in studying the work to pick up critical lessons.
Success stories and lessons learned are highlighted on the Case Studies page; all of them run through at least the 2013 growing season. I had hoped to capture data on control costs and some guiding principles, but I have found that most sites are very complex with multiple problematic invasives. So it is really difficult to present a clear cost program; often there is serious preparation work simply to “safe the site” for ongoing control. How do I quantify that? No one wants to work under overhanging dead limbs or in a tangle of barbed wire, but those costs are kind of indirect. Important yes, but still somewhat tangential. And sites are often plagued by depleted, compacted soils. Again, some effort should go toward site rehabilitation, but what portion of that truly ties in to the eradication of the target species? Hard to pin down.
So I believe the case studies page is the most useful way to present Lessons Learned and some of the management nuances. Every site is unique and presents some kind of unusual feature, but the case studies are good background knowledge. I am happy to respond to inquiries for further detail and would enjoy seeing photos that clarify any key issues.
Please keep in mind that control efforts are absolutely long-term in nature. A species is not considered “eradicated” until a site has been monitored for three years with no recurrences of the target plant; this is regardless of whether it was chemically, manually, or mechanically treated. I consider the transition of a site to be the mark of success; when an array of native species have replaced the invasives, good things will continue to happen.
Please email me if you would like to submit details on a manual / mechanical control project that you have conducted. I will ask you for a significant level of detail, so be prepared for that, or upgrade your record-keeping as you embark on your control work! Spreadsheets are fairly simple in that regard – I can send you a template. Thanks for your interest!
Current projects include:
- Black swallow-wort (vine) in Royalton and Randolph
- Autumn olive in Pomfret (cutting and flaming)
- Japanese knotweed in Randolph, Royalton, and Pomfret
- Giant hogweed (dangerous!) in Woodstock, S. Woodstock, E. Montpelier
- Wild parsnip (dangerous!) in Brownsville, Norwich, and Pomfret
- Wild chervil in Royalton and Chelsea (cutting, pulling, smothering)
- Multi-flora rose in Randolph, VT, and Enfield, NH (cutting / pulling)
- Garlic mustard and Japanese barberry in Pomfret
- Garlic mustard in Lebanon, NH
- Japanese and European barberry in Thetford (flame treatment)
- Honeysuckle in Thetford, over 1700 plants pulled / flamed
- Honeysuckle and Japanese barberry on two locations in Stowe (2997 barberry pulled in 2015)
- Oriental bittersweet (vine) in Royalton, VT, and Sterling, MA
- Multiple species on a multi-landowner site in Norwich (the buckthorns, 4 other shrub species, wild parsnip)
- Solarizing (look this up online, very interesting, many variables to manage, but quite successful on wild parsnip)
- Yellow-flag iris in both ponds and stream channels (Sharon, Pomfret, Lyme NH)
- Meadow rehabilitation in Durham, NH, multiple shrub invasives and wild parsnip