Home & Garden

Invasive species

Yard work is taking over my life lately. I can’t even call it gardening. More like a brutal battle against invasive species, and I’m definitely losing.

Last week I tried to pull up some garlic mustard that is growing on our steep slope. I walked down into my neighbor’s yard and tried to climb up the hill, rather than down, so I wouldn’t fall. Unfortunately I didn’t realize the “forest” is filled with every thorny tree and plant imaginable. I did manage to pull some garlic mustard, but mostly I just ended up sliced and diced from head to toe in the process.

I had no idea what kind of trees were stabbing me, so I did a little research. I’m still not 100 percent sure about the one species with 2-inch long menacing thorns (maybe hawthorn or black locust?), but I did learn that I have a major buckthorn problem. As in, buckthorn trees are covering most of the hillside–I think there are probably hundreds of them. There’s no way I can tackle a problem this size without professional help. I did cut down about five wheelbarrows full of small saplings, and then I sprayed them with Roundup, but I didn’t even make a dent. So now my question is should I just abandon ship and let nature take its course, or forge ahead? Stay tuned.

Garlic mustard
Garlic mustard

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