Good Oak News

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Good Oak is having its second Native Plant Sale this Friday, June 10th from 3pm to 7pm at our Stewardship Center at 4606 Pflaum Rd. in Madison (under the big “A-Quality Printing” sign). Be sure to stop by because this will be the final plant sale of the spring.


We've added even more plants to our already great selection! There will be over 60 species of native plants available, with a focus on flowering native perennials which are pollinator favorites. Our expert staff will be on hand to help you pick the right plants and give you landscaping advice. You’ll also be able to set up custom orders of native trees, shrubs and other species we don’t have on-hand at the time.

For more information and a species list, see our Plant Sale web page.

During the sale, we’ll be offering 10% off of our entire selection of books and tools. Pre-browse on our webstore.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Good Oak is having its first Native Plant Sale, this Saturday, May 21st from 8am to 4pm at our Stewardship Center at 4606 Pflaum Rd. in Madison (under the big “A-Quality Printing” sign).









We will have about 45 over 50 species of native plants available, with a focus on flowering native perennials which are pollinator favorites. Our expert staff will be on hand to help you pick the right plants and give you landscaping advice. You’ll also be able to set up custom orders of native trees, shrubs and other species we don’t have on-hand at the time.

For more information and a species list, see our Plant Sale web page.


During the sale, we’ll be offering 10% off of our entire selection of books and tools. Pre-browse on our webstore.

We’ll have a second plant sale date in early-June. Date TBD.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Fig Buttercup: A New Invader to Look Out For!

I See Weeds...

I must of have looked pretty odd to anyone passing by. This past Saturday I was the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago with my daughter. We were in front of the snow leopard pen, and this rare cat was active and just a few feet away. I had my camera out, but instead of taking a picture of the fine feline, I had my camera pointed down at the ground. I was taking a picture of this:


 
Most people wouldn't even notice the plants on the ground in front of the snow leopard. If they did, they would probably have simply assumed these were violets or creeping charlie and not paid any attention. But as a botanist, I notice plants and I had seen this plant before. Its not good.

This is a large colony of fig buttercup, also called lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria, (formerly Ficaria verna)). In Illinois where I found this plant its listed on the New Invaders Watch Program and has recently been listed as a Noxious Weed by the State. 

In Wisconsin, it is a Prohibited invasive plant listed under the NR-40 Invasive Species Rule. This means that within Wisconsin you "cannot transport, possess, transfer or introduce" this species and that "Control is required." Wherever it is found.

There are only a few reported populations of fig buttercup in Wisconsin at the moment and its the DNR's intention to keep it that way. There are two populations near Lake Geneva. Two in the Milwaukee area. And we here at Good Oak know of two in the Madison area. One we treated at Eagle Heights on the west side of the UW campus last year (which had started to spread into the woodland at the Lakeshore Preserve!). And this Tuesday we discovered a new population, at a condominium complex near Old Middleton and Old Sauk Road on Madison's west side.

Report Fig Buttercup if you find it!

The DNR needs our help finding and eliminating any populations. If you do find this species, report it by emailing invasive.species@wi.gov.


So far we've been finding them in semi-shady sites, where perennials have been planted at some point. I suspect its being moved around as people share plants. At the Eagle Heights site it looks like it may have spread into the lawn from an abandoned edge bed. At the condominium complex, it was mixed among many "ornamental" ground covers, plants that I consider invasive like vinca (periwinkle" pachysandra, Lamium (purple deadnettle). In particular it was well mixed in with one patch of pachysandra, so I suspect it was dug from another site and accidentally moved with the pachysandra, but it has spread throughout the area, so it may have been moved there intentionally on its own.

Identification: 

Here are some photos I've taken of this species to help with identification. It looks a lot like early buttercup or small-flowered buttercup (which will be individual plants, not forming colonies, and only 5 petals on the flower), or marsh marigolds (which only grows in wetlands), or even common violets (which have entirely different flowers and pointed tips on the leaves). I've also noticed some variegation (lighter patches) on the leaf surfaces. Its leaves are never more than 6" tall, it has multi-petaled yellow flowers that bloom in mid-spring. Control is most effective before it flowers.


This is what it looks like early in the season, late-March 2016.

This photo was taken late in the blooming period, late-April.

This flower was getting a bit old, so the petals are more spread out and the white patches are where it has faded a little.
UPDATE: I've created a Weed Identification and Control Sheet for Fig Buttercup. Take a look, and share!

In the mean time, you can find more information at these sites:

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/invasives/fact/lessercelandine.html
http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/five.htm
http://www.newinvaders.org/species/fig%20buttercup.pdf

Control Methods:


Right now, the most common and effective control methods are spot herbicide applications. Both glyphosate (Round-Up®, etc.) and triclopry (Garlon® 3A, etc.) appear to work, but the later is preferred because it kills the plants more rapidly. 

Digging may not be particularly effective since the roots are a series of bulb-like structures that would break apart pretty easily, leaving some behind. Plus, you need to destroy the plants you dig, or double-bag  the entire root and soil mass in sturdy trash bags and put it into the trash. But, if carefully monitored manual control may be effective.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

2016 Stewardship Seminars: Managing Weeds and Invasive Plants Series

We're excited to announce that as part of our expanded Land Stewardship Center we'll be offering three seminar series on ecological restoration and sustainable landscaping this spring. These series are going to give us enough time to cover each topic in the detail they deserve, teaching folks how to "save the plant" on their own property.

 The first series is coming up next Wednesday!  

 Managing Weeds and Invasive Plants Series

I've given presentations on invasive plant management many times, and never have enough time to really 'get into the weeds' so to speak. By breaking this topic down into 4 classes we'll have up to 8 hours (!) we'll have plenty of time to talk about all the common weeds and invasive plants of each type, and comp up with individualized plans for the weeds attendees are dealing with on their own property. Here are how we're breaking down this topic: 

   1.  Invasive Brush & Weedy Trees - 7pm, Wed. 03/02/16
   2.  Woodland & Shady Area Weeds - 7pm, Wed. 03/09/16
   3.  Prairie & Sunny Area Weeds - 7pm, Wed. 03/23/16
   4.  Landscape & Urban Weeds - 7pm, Wed. 03/30/16

All classes run from 7:00pm-9:00pm.
$15/class OR $13/class if you register for the entire series. 

To Register: email us, call us at 608-209-0607 or stop in at our Land Stewardship Center (4606 Pflaum Rd. in Madison)

For more information this and the rest of our series for this year, check out the 2016 Stewardship Seminars web page, or click on the flier below.




















Friday, February 12, 2016

Want to Save the World?: Good Oak is Hiring

We're looking to fill a few positions here at Good Oak.

We're looking to build up our team for the season, hiring for our Ecological Restoration and Sustainable Landscaping Technician position. This is our general get it done on the ground position, working both in natural areas and residential/commercial landscaping sites.

We're also announcing our spring and summer internships. We're looking for college students that want to learn a lot about native plants, ecological restoration and sustainable landscaping. Our spring internship starts in early-March, and applications are due soon, so don't wait!

We're also looking for someone with a strong background in horticulture and landscaping for our Sustainable Landscaping Manager position. Please note that this is not a position focused on ecological restoration, and only those with strong a landscaping/horticultural background should apply.

Find out more at our new Employment page.


The Good Oak Team, summer 2015.