Fighting the Good Fight

Buckthorn is resilient, stubborn and persistent — kind of like The Buckthorn Man!

I’ve been watching the buckthorn stumps resprouting at many of the locations where we cut last Winter, and the Winter before for that matter.  I always try to get some poison on the stumps right away — I prefer to kill them dead immediately — if I can.  Some professionals prefer to ignore the freshly cut stumps and instead, plan time in their schedules in the late Spring or early Summer, when the cut stumps have bushed out with fresh growth, to hit them with poison in the form of a foliar spray.

There are challenges to applying poison to cut stumps in the dead of Winter.  You’ve got to have some kind of anti-freeze in your mix to keep your spray bottles working, or, keep them near a fire when you are not using them.  And, depending on the snow conditions, you are likely to miss a lot of the smaller stumps even if you take your time.  Nevertheless, I think poisoning the freshly cut stump is the best way to kill the buckthorn and the method that results in the least collateral damage i.e., when foliar spraying and over-spray lands on native plants near the buckthorn resprouts.  I welcome your comments and opinions on the pros and cons of these two approaches (or the neglected aspect if you have one.)

Well, that being said, there was a lot of stump resprouting in areas that we cut last Winter.  In some cases, the sawyers simply chose not to spray the stumps, despite pleading to do so from The Buckthorn Man, and in other cases, the stumps were missed, or the poison was applied but failed to do it’s job.  When I returned to work at The Springs last September, I prioritized the areas where there were a lot of buckthorn resprouts and recut and poisoned the stumps.  There were also many fresh buckthorn seedlings to cut as well as black locust.  Here is a map of the areas I focused on this Fall that will be discussed in the galleries that follow:

SSTrailMapReSproutsCutThis area is down the main trail heading counter clockwise on your left.

From there I moved to the North end of the loop trail.  I think recutting these stumps is a must to facilitate a successful prescribed burn.

This area is just east of the marl pit factory ruins.

Along the cut-off trail.

On the North loop

Believe it or not, I had doubts about posting anymore of my work online and I didn’t bother to take before and after pictures on many occasions.

See you at The Springs!

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