This past week we did some brush clearing for the folks at the Speckled Hen Inn, just north of Madison. This will be the first step in restoring this open oak woodland back to health. On my initial site visit I notice a lot of conservative woodland and savanna species including: doll's eyes, red baneberry, blue cohosh, horse gentian, yellow honeysuckle, yellow giant hyssop and purple joe-pye weed. So there's a great chance for recovery of the woodland flora once brush clearing and hopefully a prescribed burn are completed. We will be working with Robert and Patricia on reintroducing more native wildflowers, grasses and sedges and probably plantings a few bur oaks in the areas where we end up with a good gap in the canopy.
So below are a couple of "before and after" photos from our first day of work on the site. Most of the brush we removed were large buckthorns, but we also cleared a handful of honeysuckle, privet, mulberry and boxelder trees. Bob will be harvesting many of the hackberries (skinny tall trees in the photo) for firewood to further open the woodland canopy.
This is the area we cleared in the morning of our first day working there. There were four of us working on site that day. Click on either image to see them in full-size, and see switch between them to see the dramatic difference!
Here is the area we cleared the afternoon of our first day on site:
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