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. Locations were recorded in EpiCollect5, a smartphone app. We will follow up this effort with pitchforks 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. Barberry removal crews will begin in spring of 2021.
Barberry Survey and Removal Assignments
Volunteers were assigned a handful of grid boxes to survey, which are recorded in EpiCollect. Note: Volunteers were instructed to only survey within the boundaries of Hillside Woods.