Thursday, March 11, 2010

Weeding the Woods

Another day in the mid to high 50s, no breeze.  But not sunny, it's overcast today.

I spent several hours on the back hill pulling multiflora rose, lopping bitterweet and yanking poison ivy off the trees.  Hard work, and it seems like I've got everything I can see, then I turn around and there's another tree wrapped in woody vines.

The bittersweet is the most damaging, cutting deep ridges in tree trunks where it wraps itself.  The roses are the worst to handle, with their prickers and canes that stretch for yards.  The poison ivy is literally everywhere, the vines twist along the ground blanketing the floor of the woods under the leaves, only occasionally rising up a trunk.

It's such a job, weeding the woods.

While on the top of the bank, I was stabbed by a long sharp thorn... a barberry bush is up there, a large one!

This is the time of year for this effort.  Cool temps, the woods are open and I can see the offending vines.  They'll grow right back, and later in the season they'll take over, but once foliage leafs out, I can't get up there.  And when it gets hotter, it's too miserable.

I'm hoping once a year in early spring I can  do some damage and keep at least some of the rampant growth from starting up.  And maybe year after year of doing this will have a more lasting effect.  But I know despite getting everything I can see, freeing all the trees from choking growth, and ripping out what seems like acres of brush.... by summer the place will be overrun again.   Sigh.

I'll go back out there later, maybe in April, before it gets too grown and do more chopping.  But come May I'll have to give up.