November 28 was a great day for being outside - 50+ degrees, partly sunny, with a cool breeze. Peter, Steve, Posie, Nancy, Beth, Paul, and Bob, helped Dave, the affable bearded Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Technician, remove unwanted and mostly invasive flora from 120 yards of former fence line along East Court Street in Rocky Mount.
A large number of Subarus and a few other vehicles were parked in the field off East Court Street as their owners removed Chinese Privet, Ailanthus, Multiflora Rose, English Ivy, and various other non-native plant life. By the way, if you think privet is a bush, it can easily be a 25 foot tree. We tried to retain the native plants like Coral Bush, of which there were unfortunately few. We also collected barbed wire and fencing that remained along the sight barrier. Dave did most of the heavy cutting with an electric chainsaw, while BRFALers removed the less than tree-size invaders with loppers. Chemical treatment will have to wait for later, but for now, the Chinese Privet is under “cultural” control.
Some day, if our work proves effective, Eastern Red Cedars and Black Cherries will inhabit the entire stretch of land along the street and the invaders will be vanquished.
It turned out that 5+ hours was enough for us (especially those who worked the entire time) and also for the chainsaw batteries. A few of the 50 foot Ailanthus trees were left for next time.
If you missed this opportunity, more will likely be coming your way in the Spring as we work with DCR to make the 150 acres of Bald Knob NAP a more natural setting for wildlife (yes, this means deer too) and the unusual mafic barrens denizen, the Fame Flower.
by Paul P.