decorah envirothon - woodland management

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Winneshiek County Conservation: Woodland Management

Winneshiek County Conservation: Woodland Management

Freeport Hillside

Our woodlands are under attack by invasive plant species

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Garlic mustard, maybe the worst non-native invader which often overruns susceptible woodland, is suppressed in our county-owned parks.

Garlic Mustard may be the nastiest alien in our woods today

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Tartarian Honeysuckle is a real aggressive shrub all across the Midwest.

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This woodland understory is totally overgrown with Honeysuckle, showing up as the green growth in spring.

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This area has just been cleared of Honeysuckle bushes

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Honeysuckles can be a bear to cut

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Honeysuckle sprouts multiple stems, making control difficult

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Multiflora Rose was brought to this country on purpose too, planted as a pretty living barbed-wire fence.

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Multiflora Rose makes an impenetrable tangle in infested timbers

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Japanese Barberry is another thorny woodland invader.

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Japanese Bamboo is incredibly invasive and almost impossible to eradicate.

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European Buckthorn can grow as either a shrub or small tree out in the woods.

European Buckthorns produce purple berries in autumn. Birds eat them, get sick and expel them into new areas.

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European Buckthorn leaves often look glossy. They leaf out before native trees in spring and stay green late into fall.

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Ridding our woods and fields of non-native weeds is time-consuming and expensive

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Tordon is a cheap reliable tree killer.

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Coat the living tissue of a cut stump with Tordon RTU

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A simple girdle, followed by squirting Tordon into the cut, will also kill Buckthorn or other weed trees.

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Girdles can also be done with a few simple hatchet chops.

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A hatchet-girdled tree trunk waiting for the Tordon spray

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A tree loppers can be used to top smaller trees and honeysuckle shrubs

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Be sure to give all lopper-cut stems the Tordon treatment.

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A backpack sprayer works great for many noxious weeds

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Hit Honeysuckle or other weeds in the summertime with Crossbow. Spray the vegetation until leaves are wet

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Mowing can suppress weeds and keep them from going to seed. This may eventually control biennial species.

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Fire may be another non-chemical control agent for weeds, but is better at battling a woody shrub or tree invasion

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A late fall or early spring woodland burn can kill seedling Buckthorn, Honeysuckle and other ilk.

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Trees with minimal wildlife value are eliminated from natural areas in autumn and winter by girdling and then treating the wound with Tordon.

A hop hornbeam, or ironwood tree that has been girdled and then treated with Tordon. These common trees shade the forest floor and prevent oak seedlings from getting established.

Hop hornbeam saplings waiting to be killed at Lake Meyer so the forest there can regenerate young oak or sugar maple seedlings in their place.

The Woodlands We Want to See

Big bur oaks, like this Lake Meyer specimen, are the foundation for a healthy, vibrant, and fully functioning woodland.

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Oaks are still synonymous with strength & steadfastness

This open oak woods, is called a savannah, one of the rarest habitats in the whole world.

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Acorns are the foundation of the food chain for well over a hundred animals, birds and insects that might otherwise starve.

Older oak trees provide park and natural area visitors with very pleasing scenic views while wandering through the woods, offering an outdoor experience thats sadly in short supply today.

Dead red oak makes a premier firewood.

Young Red Oak trees showing off in the morning sun.

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Big shagbark hickories are important members of the forest community too.

Several different uncommon woodland bats seek sanctuary under those large loose plates.

Black walnut trees take up the big tree space in floodplain and other lowland forest areas for they act as additional wildlife magnets there.

Black walnut wood is the top choice for sporting gunstocks as it takes a super-smooth polish, and more importantly, the wood never warps

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Black cherry trees are bird-friendly and make a purple fruit early in the fall.

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Tall straight black cherry trees are worth a pretty penny

Black Cherry wood is chosen for classy wood caskets

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Sugar maple trees rate near the top as a scenic tree

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Besides fine fall color and maple syrup, maple trees make a wood that cant be beat for gym floors & fiddles

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Trees add untold benefits to us and the world around us all year long, whether the season be summer

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Or winter. What a wonderful sight.

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