The First Stage of our Project to Remove Invasive species such as European Buckthorn, Oriental Bittersweet vine, Tartarian Honeysuckle and Manitoba Maple in the forest area took place on December 4. These species are outcompeting the native vegetation and preventing growth of new native plantings. Habitat for native insects, birds and wildlife is reduced, and water quality in the wetland and pond damaged.
The City and the Friends partnered to hire Giles Restoration to apply a herbicide to 3 focus areas of the forest. The herbicide is Garlon RTU and it was sprayed around the stem base of invasive Manitoba Maple east of the parking lot, on Bittersweet and Buckthorn in, the central forest and near the pond. It hardens in one hour, and has no toxicity for wildlife or pets after this. The park was closed for most of the day, and signs posted 48 hours prior and after to advise the public. Friends volunteers talked to members of the public at park entrances, and people were co-operative and interested in the process.
Giles Restoration will do a follow up application in May, date TBA. They will also do a foliar spray of the new growth from seeds deposited last season. If the treatment is seen as successful, in early fall 2019, the treated areas will be replanted with native trees and shrubs. Further treatments of other areas will follow in successive years, depending on how successful the treatment is and available funds. Removal of these invasives will make growth of native trees and plants possible, resulting in more habitat for native wildlife, and improved water quality in the wetlands.
The Friends will be doing a pull of invasive Garlic Mustard in May along the main forest trail, and replanting these areas with native plants. Volunteers will be needed so watch for a date announcement!