An invasive shrub, Japanese barberry spreads throughout forest understories, crowding out everything else. In addition, it creates a perfect storm for Lyme disease: its berries and thorny cover attract mice, on which deer tick nymphs typically get their first meal and Lyme infection. A Japanese barberry infestation also creates a humid microclimate that favors ticks' reproductive lifecycle. Above is a photo from Lewisboro, about 30 miles from Hastings, where barberry has fully invaded this woods' understory. We plan to banish the barberry before Hillside Woods is taken over!
We surveyed the woods in the summer of 2020 and logged over 850 barberry bushes. We recorded locations in EpiCollect5, a smartphone app. We are following up this effort with loppers and shovels! All are welcome. Community service hours and good karma awarded.
To volunteer in your own yard: remove your Japanese barberry! Birds eat the berries and drop them in Hillside Woods.
Mapping the infestation
Here is the data mapped to date. Survey in red; removals in green.