Invasive Plant Surveys

The white paint you see on trees is part of the tree survey

Invasive Plant Surveys

Volunteers marked and surveyed 1600 Norway maple and ailanthus trees in the summer of 2020—and those are just the ones within 50 feet of a trail or road!—plus 850 Japanese Barberry shrubs.

Norway maples and ailanthus disrupt and deteriorate Hillside's ecosystem. Japanese barberry colonizes entire understories of nature preserves. These are just three of the high-priority targets for the woods restoration project.

Invasive Tree Survey: Norway Maple & Ailanthus

We trained over 50 volunteers to recognize, measure and document Norway maple, below in green, and ailanthus trees, shown in orange. This data and the marks on these invasive trees will help Parks & Rec Department identify and remove smaller trees, and is helping produce an RFP for tree work that requires a commercial tree team. Invasive trees further than 50 feet from human traffic will be girdled and become "snags." This allows them to die back slowly, and provide food an habitat for woodland creatures as new trees grow up to take their place.

Read more about Norway maple and ailanthus trees in Hillside Woods by Róisín O'Flaherty

Invasive Tree Removals to date

Parks & Rec has focused on removing invasive trees in the area near the deer exclosure. The HWRP continues to engage volunteers in removing invasive shrubs, primarily: privet, jetbead, Japanese barberry and honeysuckle.

Japanese Barberry Survey 

Volunteers surveyed Japanese barberry in August-September of 2020 and found over 850 shrubs. We've removed about half this number. (Red bushes represent the barberry bushes we surveyed, and green skulls the bushes we have removed.) Barberry tends to colonize entire understories of area preserves if not forcibly removed, and such infestations create a favorable microclime for deer tick reproduction.. Become a Barberry Buster

Mile-a-Minute & Japanese Angelica

We've found fast-growing mile-a-minute in a few of areas of Hillside Woods. Click the link to learn more about it - for example, it can grow six inches a day! - and learn to identify it; please remove it wherever you see it! If it has berries, put them in the trash; do not compost them. Volunteers have remediated some of the mile-a-minute patches in Hillside Woods, but they will require consistent vigilance.

Japanese Angelica, or Japanese aralia,  is a small spindly tree with thorny trunk. It's leaves look like fronds - like a truffula tree from The Lorax. It's a lot harder to remove -  like ailanthus, if you chop one down, it will sprout up several more from suckered roots. There are groves establishing in Hillside Woods; we need to get a handle on these quickly!