In two years, Mary Kate Solymossy has transformed her corner property into a lovely garden. Invasive plants were removed, dying trees taken down (although she did leave one trunk as a habitat!), perennial plants and grasses replaced some of the lawn turf. A new young oak tree will grow tall and strong surrounded by a variety of native plants. Mary Kate keeps the pollinators in mind with her plantings and tends her yard with an electric lawnmower, rainbarrel and composter. She quite earned her Conservation@Home sign which she can post with pride!
Laura Dominiak has upgraded her acre with large beds of native flowering plants and shrubs all nestled beneath a canopy of mature trees including oaks and black walnut. She requested further input on how to expand her gardens while remaining chemical free. BACT Conservation@Home volunteer Kathy Paczynski recommended corn gluten in the early spring to reduce weed germination, dressing with compost and installing mulch. Grouping like plants together with the tall in the back always creates a more cohesive look. That C@H sign looks right at home, Laura!
Sadly, we say goodbye to one of our volunteers this fall.
Over the past several years, Virginia Brown, has volunteered at countless restoration work days, given presentations to Barrington High School, Summer Internship and Teens4Green students regarding soil health and her career, as well as visited homeowner’s properties as part of our Conservation@Home program. Virginia has a masters degree in soil science and consults on the environmental aspects of a variety of construction projects and provides solutions for land management challenges, as well as ecological restoration. She is moving out of state!
Thank you, Virginia – we will miss you, best of luck in your new home!!
What’s a SAWYER?!
Definition per Merriam-Webster:
one that saws!
BACT’s favorite sawyer, Kirk Lingner, goes into a bit more detail: tree climbing, tree felling, dead limb extraction, cat & drone rescue and deer stand installation/removal PLUS brush pile burn boss are among his specialties!
Kirk has been a BACT contractor for many years and, in addition, volunteers his time for OaktoberFest, leads volunteer work days on our preserves, talks to our summer interns about his career, and more. Not to mention suppling hungry volunteers with excellent bratwurst after a day out in the field! Kirk is always ready to lend a hand – a big thank you to Kirk, BACT is fortunate to have you on the team!
More episodes coming soon – up next: “Name that Tree”!
Visit our website for a list of native shrubs that make great replacements for invasive species’ hedges!
Late fall and winter is the ideal time to combat woody invasives. All summer, they have been working on new growth and seed production. Cutting them at that time would trigger re-sprouting and a deeper root system. But, summer IS a good time to identify these invaders and tag them for later.
As the plants prepare for dormancy in the fall, they are pulling their energy stores back into the roots. Now comes the ideal time to attack!
Use the stump-cut method: cut off the plants fairly close to the ground and immediately paint the stump with a systemic herbicide. Not waiting allows the plant to draw the herbicide in before the cambium layer seals up the cut. The herbicide will then kill the plant from the stump down, eliminating new shoots and reducing root suckering.
Glysophate (such as Roundup) can be applied by landowners. Triclophyr (such as Galron) must be applied by a licensed herbicide applicator. If the plants are near a wetland or open water, be certain to choose the appropriate herbicide.
Join the Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Region Tree Initiative on December 11, 12-3pm at Pioneer Woods Picnic Grove, 10218 W. 107th, Willow Springs for “Invasion of the Nature Snatchers!” This fun, interactive invasive species stewardship fetival will feature demonstrations on desirable plant replacements, strategies for invasives removal and more! Registration required HERE