[NAFEX] Killing Poison Ivy Organically/elevation

tanis cuff tanistanis at hotmail.com
Mon May 2 09:13:21 EDT 2005


Good stuff.  Discussion (even tho we're off the topic of fruit exploring) in 
CAPS.


----Original Message Follows----
From: "Dave Griffin" <>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <>
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Killing Poison Ivy Organically/elevation
Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 07:35:18 -0500

   Grazing is the cause of widespread poison ivy, autumn olive, buckthorn,
honeysuckle...not the solution. The disturbance from cattle - including
soil compaction, elimination of native vegetation competition, exposure of
mineral soil for seed germination - provides ideal conditions for these
invasives to increase and thrive.
AGREE SOMEWHAT-- IT DEPENDS ON HOW HEAVY THE GRAZING PRESSURE, HOW MANY 
YEARS, ROTATIONAL VS "TRADITIONAL", WHAT OTHER MANAGEMENT-- FOR EXAMPLE 
FIRE.  AND DARE I MENTION HOW MUCH DAMAGE IS DONE TO WOODS BY LARGE DEER 
HERDS?

Its much easier to preserve healthy woods
than to restore them but restoration can be done with work and time. First
eliminate the seed trees. Then regular selective weeding over time
gradually reduces the invasives and increases the natives.
WELL PUT.  BUT P.IVY IS A NATIVE PLANT.  AND BIRDS CARRY IN SEEDS OF ALL 
THESE SHRUBS, SO SEED-TREE REMOVAL DOES NOT MEAN 100% CURED.

   Buckthorn pulls easily in the spring right after the frost goes out of
the ground and, with the seed trees gone, there is less of it every year.
LATEST RECOMMENDATION IN WI IS TO USE A BASAL-BARK OR CUT-STUMP TREATMENT 
WITH HERBICIDE, BECAUSE PULLING UNDESIRED PLANTS CREATES SOIL DISTURBANCE & 
BARE SOIL READY FOR SEED-STARTING.  MEANS MORE SITES FOR BUCKTHORN, UNLESS 
YOU CAN PLANT IMMEDIATELY WITH DESIRED PLANTS' SEEDS.  (AND IN WI EARLY 
SPRING WE'RE PULLING GARLIC-MUSTARD RIGHT AFTER GROUND THAWS!)

After 12 years or so its a 2 afternoon job now for 25 acres of woods. The
Europeans [ESPECIALLY BUCKTHORNS & HONEYSUCKLE, AND TO SOME EXTENT AUTUMN 
OLIVE] are easy to spot then and its a nice, bugless time to be in the
woods anyway. I haven't had much luck with Roundup on poison ivy. Mine is
mostly on the edges in the grass and Roundup kills the competition while
only burning off the tops of the p.i. so it comes back stronger than ever.
I used a broadleaf herbicide - harsh maybe - but now it is gone (except
for a very few new shoots) as the grass that remains helps choke out any
regeneration and I don't have to re-apply something also harsh, even if it
is less so, on a continuing basis.
GOOD POINTS.  I HAVE HAD GOOD LUCK WITH GLYPHOSATE ON P.IVY, BUT I USE IT 
ONLY WHERE I DON'T WANT *ANYTHING* GROWING.  IDEALLY I CAN GET SOME NATIVE 
GRASS OR FORB SEEDS INTO THE SPRAYED SITE.

Harsh too is the Tordon I use of the
larger weedy trees and on the Honeysuckle which doesn't pull cleanly. On
the other hand, a little drop will do you on a cut stump so there is no
peripheral damage from overspray and, since you can be selective, the
released native competition takes over the newly opened space. Tordon is
effective but not in the spring as the rising sap washes it off the stump.
So I flag the Honeysuckle then and cut it in September when the plant takes
it down into the roots. This is hot, buggy work  but carries the
satisfaction of knowing it is more effective than cursing and it makes the
beer taste great.
DO YOU HAVE ACCESS TO GARLON?  THERE ARE 2 FORMULATIONS, ONE IS "4", ONE IS 
"3"-- I CAN'T REMEMBER WHICH IS LESS/MORE TOXIC TO PEOPLE.  THE LOWER-TOX IS 
GREAT TO WORK WITH, AS EFFECTIVE BUT NOT AS HARSH AS TORDON, AND GIVES YOU 
AN EXCUSE TO WORK IN COOLER WEATHER BECAUSE IT IS VOLATILE ENOUGH THAT 
SHOULDN'T BE USED IN WARM TEMPERATURES.  GLYPHOSATE CAN ALSO BE USED AS 
CUT-STUMP, AT HIGHER CONCENTRATION THAN FOR SPRAYING WEEDS; ALSO NOT AS 
HARSH AS TORDON.

   Originally this job looked to be impossibly overwhelming but with
diligence in time I have an island of good quality native woods in a sea of
European weeds. Most of the new buckthorn seedlings come up under the
mother tree and it is important to first eliminate them. Then, as the woods
continues to get healthier, it fights off the new invaders from the outside
in an increasingly more effective way with diminishing help from me.
AGREE-- STICKING WITH IT IS DEFINITELY WORTH IT.  ARE YOU ABLE TO 
INCORPORATE FIRE INTO YOUR MANAGEMENT PLAN?  THE HEALTHIEST & PRETTIEST 
WOODS I'VE EVER SEEN ARE ONES WHICH GET BURNED ONCE IN WHILE (IF 
REGULAR/FREQUENT FIRE WAS IN THEIR ECOLOGICAL HISTORY).

This,
the four hundredth anniversary of Cervantes, is a great year to celibate by
beginning to tilt at this windmill. Not all the seemingly Quixotic ventures
turn out to be so.

Dave





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