Journal archives for June 2017

June 22, 2017

Hurricane Habitat Rescue

In February of this year (2017), I began eradication of an invasive species, Phyllostachys aurea (Golden Bamboo) on about an acre, of which I own part, with the remainder being forest land. This area is bounded by county road on two sides, and Hurricane Branch on one side. Its proximity to the creek ensures that the timber company who owns that section cannot log it, and I had permission to remove the bamboo from their section, too.

This bamboo was originally planted by my grandfather in 1956 because he wanted a fishing pole. The grove was sort of contained and limited to about half an acre for a while by mowing former pastureland, but in the 1990s, this rural area got a public water supply and when they trenched across the county road to lay lines, the rhizomes easily spread.

I refuse to use herbicides, so my control method is to cut it down, drag it up to a safe spot, and burn it. I’ve been told by some that it can’t be eradicated without herbicides, but I believe it can be. Some said I’d have to dig all of the rhizomes, but that’s impractical for an acre of ravines with large trees. Even if I could do it, erosion would carry most of the land off down the creek. Several sources told me that if I keep new shoots cut down before they can make leaves, the lack of photosynthesis will exhaust the rhizomes and they will eventually rot in the ground. This is the method I’ve chosen, and my journal will document my success.

I’m also very curious to see what grows back as the eradication project progresses. When the rains from Tropical Storm Cindy stop, I plan to begin inventorying the current species, and documenting them as observations with the searchable tag: Hurricane Habitat Rescue.

The species that I’ve noted growing there (besides P. aurea!) already are: Fagus grandifolia (American Beech), Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia), M. grandiflora (Southern Magnolia), Nyssa sylvatica (Black Tupelo), Symplocos tinctoria (Sweetleaf), Ilex coriaceae (Large gallberry), Bignonia capreolata (Cross Vine), Lilium michauxii (Carolina Lily), Triadenum walterii (Greater Marsh St. John’s Wort), Vaccinium species, several species of ferns, and of course — Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon holly) and Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy) of which I have no qualms about reducing the populations. There are also some pines that I know to be more than 60 years old, but I haven’t determined the species yet.

Posted on June 22, 2017 19:27 by lauramorganclark lauramorganclark | 1 comment | Leave a comment

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