Good Oak News

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Invasive Christmas Decorations!

Sure, the title of this post sounds like it could have been ripped from a tabloid magazine (it sounds more like a 50's sci-fi/horror movie to me), but its true some Christmas decorations are made out of invasive species. Oriental bittersweet has long been used in wreaths due to its bright red and orange berries, and wreath disposal is a likely source for many infestations of this extremely aggressive weed. But the Wisconsin DNR warns that other invasive species such as teasel and multiflora rose are being used in Christmas decorations as well.

So how should you dispose of your 'natural' holiday decorations? While you may be tempted to compost them or simply toss them in a "wild" section of your property, it is better to use caution and just put them in the trash if you are not sure what they are made of. We really cannot afford to spread more of these invasive weeds around the landscape. Evergreen trees, poinsettias and mistletoe should be safe to compost or dispose of in the woods by the way. An old Christmas tree stood up outside can even be good cover for winter birds, just be sure there is no tinsel or ornaments left on them that animals might eat and get sick from.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Three New Weed ID Sheets

This week we've wrapped up three new "weed identification and control sheets" for sow thistles, foxtail grasses and lamb's quarters. Check them out in the Knowledge Center.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Protect your woody plants this winter

Winter is a tough time of year for wildlife. Animals like rabbits and deer that would prefer to be eating succulent leaves, buds, fruits and roots are reduced to eating bark and tender young branches off of shrubs and small trees to survive. In areas where deer are over-populated, this can have a tremendous impact, wiping out nearly all oak seedlings for example. In urban areas, rabbits are usually responsible for a great deal of damage to young shrubs.

If you have young trees and shrubs on your property that you would like to see again next year, you really should protect them from hungry herbivores. This PDF file will tell you ways to protect your shrubs from rabbits, and similar measures can be taken against deer, though with larger and more robust defenses. If you are interested in purchasing any Liquid Fence, please contact us since we are considering putting together an order for our clients.

Dane Buy Local

I just wanted to make note that Good Oak Ecological Services joined Dane Buy Local recently. This is a great organization, that supports local businesses here in the Madison area. I have already made a few good connections in the single event I have been able to attend so far. Anyhow, if you have a moment check out their website to learn more.