Perhaps you have noticed – invasive vines are attacking our trees. Oriental Bittersweet, Porcelain Vine, Mile-a-Minute vine, Grape and Honeysuckle can all grow quickly and overwhelm an otherwise healthy tree. Take a few minutes and cut the stems of these vines near their bases, and you give that tree a new lease on life. By killing the upper growth of the vines you also prevent the development of berries and seeds that will create even more vines. If you take the time to dig or pull out the roots of these vines, you create the possibility that native plants can at least partially take the place of the aliens. Plant a few shade-loving natives and you begin to create an environment where it becomes more difficult for the aliens to thrive. You can see these vines along just about any roadway, and the solution is cutting back and digging out the vines. It might seem like an overwhelming job, but a few determined people can make a big difference. Saving one established native tree is a big accomplishment. Several people working together can save dozens of trees in just one afternoon of work.
Our meadow stewardship group at Mill Creek spends much of our time removing and controlling invasive plants in our meadow and woodlot areas. You are welcome to come out any Wednesday evening to see what we do and maybe lend a hand. Globally, we need many more people to become informed and involved in planting more native species and in controlling the spread of invasive species of all kinds. Locally, you can spend 15 minutes and save a tree. You would also be saving the many (sometimes hundreds!) of native insect and bird species that rely on that particular variety of tree. That is no small accomplishment, and it is vital we collectively act to reverse the spread of invasives. Contact Jamie Kegerise or John Springer on Realm for information about our meadow and grounds.