One of my favorite winter jobs is forestry work.
Between the 11th and 12th hole of Bittersweet we have a native forest area that has been overrun by non-native species, namely buckthorn and honeysuckle. A close-up shot of these plants shows that they form a dense growth that out-competes native plants for nutrients, light and moisture.
By removing these plants.…..
…..we are restoring wildlife habitat.....
…..and as an added benefit we are making the golf course much easier to play - a ball that was formerly hit in this area was lost, but now you will have a good chance of finding the ball and keeping it in play.
In the spring we hope to see a proliferation of wildflowers and a return of native ground cover here.
In the edges and swales where water moves through this forest we will plant fescue grass to control erosion. Soil conservation is another reason why the control of non-native trees and shrubs is good ecology – as we eliminate these invasive plants we allow more sunlight to reach the floor of the forest and the environment can now sustain soil conserving plant life. The invasive plants such as Buckthorn do not conserve soil as well as native plants.
The Black Cherry trees are going to be left in this woodland, even though many are not particularly attractive trees, for as you can see below Black Cherry trees provide great habitat for several species of birds that are trunk-nesters.