Good Oak News

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Last call for spring wildflowers

As our trees fill out their branches with leaves, the season for ephemeral wildflowers in our woodlands is coming to a close. But what a grand finale it is! In a fine woodland you can now see many species blooming such as Great White Trillium, Wild Geranium, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Large-Flowered Bellwort, Blue Violets, Virginia Waterleaf, Wild Columbine, Solomon's Seal, False Solomon's Seal, Jacob's Ladder, Shooting Star and even Yellow Lady's Slipper Orchid.

So take some time before spring is gone to head into the woods and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you. Contact us for a list of recommended sites for a wildflower walk.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Its garlic mustard pulling season!

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is one of the most troublesome noxious weed in our region. This plant can be found in many shade to semi-shade areas, sometimes forming extensive dense patches which exclude all other plants. This invasive species is originally from Europe, and because it doesn't have any pests or herbivores who will eat it here in the U.S., it goes entirely unchecked.

So this is a call to action! Get out and patrol your property for this species. See this UW Herbarium web page and this National Park Service page for help identifying this pest. Then get to work getting rid of it! For small patches it is fairly easy to pull it all up, make sure you get the root and all, and then bag it for disposal. These plants can produce thousands of seeds per plant and the seeds can ripen even on a "dead" plant laying on the ground. So don't just leave it laying around! Also, be sure to notify your neighbors about this pest and maybe take a few extra minutes to pull a few of the plants that are infesting your neighborhood park. Every little bit helps!

For larger patches of garlic mustard there are several other methods that will be more time-efficient at knocking that garlic mustard back. Please contact us and we can tell you how to tackle it yourself or you can hire us to do the dirty work for you.

Good Hunting!
-Frank