Read more and see the list from the Western Governor’s Association.
originally published in Outdoor Living, Summer 2014
by Margo Farnsworth
I had inherited my much longed for older sister’s bedroom. It was a garret-like space that opened into our dusty, but neatly arranged attic with oversized attic fan serving as both focal point and cooling system in the early 1960’s. Here too, was the board where my chalk smudged seven-year-old fingers laid out my future farm. Lots of horses with paddocks to the west of the house and long southern pastures in the fore were carefully drawn. The front drive would, of course, be Bradford pears lined up two-by-two all the way to the street.
I was raised on a love of Bradford pears. Originally sent from China to Europe, their snowy spring dresses came to adorn landscapes in all the most fashionable business parks beginning in the ‘50s. As subdivisions became popular, so too were these orderly, oval-topped sentries planted throughout neighborhood entries and parks alike. Their march toward omnipresence had begun.
As time passed, years of dust settled on the chalkboard with the drawing of my farm. Bradford pears advanced their hold on whole communities as I was building a career and raising a family. No horticulturalist, I had not studied the darker side of the pernicious pear. As I grew, those first pears started to disintegrate in storms. “Break-away” pears we labeled them as we began to recognize they were neither strong nor long-lived, have lives of usually less than 25 years, with their demise commonly arriving after only 15 to 20 years.
Then, Douglas Tallamy added a tombstone for all of the cultivars of the Callery pear including the Bradford, Cleveland and handful of others. His studies revealed how poor these trees are in hosting food sources for birds and other wildlife. In a talk for the Missouri Prairie Foundation, Tallamy discussed computations that a single family of chickadee babies will devour 9,000 caterpillars on their way to adulthood. Those caterpillars like oak trees and other natives – Bradford pears, not so much.
As I wrote this article I contemplated the double row of Cleveland pears the former owners planted on my farm with a rueful smile. They have fire blight and all must be removed. I cannot blame myself or you for all the lacy ladies, those Bradford pears planted across our country. We only went where we were led. But I can pledge a new allegiance to serviceberry, redbuds and other native trees for beauty along my drive and food in the bellies of birds. And when a grandchild uses my old chalkboard, I’ll teach them well about the shallow pleasures of a pretty face or flower alone. Our landscape’s beauty is made of more substantial stuff.
About the writer: Margo Farnsworth is a writer, biomimicry instructor and Fellow for the Biomimicry Institute. She invites readers into nature, offering strategic ways to live with wild neighbors through biomimicry and other practical methods. Her work has appeared in the book Wildness: Relations of People & Place along with magazines such as The New Territory, EarthLines, TreeHugger and numerous blogs.
Green Belt Land Trust wants to let you know about an opportunity to do some good work and help out a conservation easement landowner by clearing invasive honeysuckle on Saturday, November 11th, from 10AM to noon.
They will be led by Fred Young, honeysuckle exterminator extraordinaire, and Greenbelt will provide the necessary equipment. However, if you have your own loppers and work gloves, feel free to bring those, too!
Please RSVP by emailing mpowell
The KCNPI Large Landscapes Work Group will be hosting a half-day Invasive Species Identification And Control Workshop on July 14th at Jerry Smith Park. The workshop is intended for on the ground parks personnel and will be led by Larry Rizzo, Linda Lehrbaum and Matt Garrett.
Registration is open now until July 11.
from IHMC Florida Institute for Human Machine Cognition 2005 Evening Lecture Series
“It’s a leaf-out freakout,” begins a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article posted March 13. As described in, “St. Louis residents beat back invasive honeysuckle as spring nears,” organizations across the city are engaged in removal of this prolific and highly invasive plant.
Kirkwood Honeysuckle Hackathon
Photo by Robert Weaver, The Gateway Gardener
The Kirkwood Parks Assistance Corps’ Honeysuckle Hackathon met with great success. Over 100 volunteers showed up in the course of a week. Here are some documents they used that may prove helpful in other community invasive plant removal efforts:
See more photos, click here. Photos of Meramec students helping on Thursday are here. To download the whole gallery, click on the downward arrow next to the “Buy Photos” button. To download individual photos click on the photo then on the downward arrow at bottom right page.
There are still some work dates set for St. Louis Wild Ones Honeysuckle Sweep week.
And finally, check out this video by Great Rivers Greenway and share with your networks!
Learn more about exotic honeysuckles on MoIP’s species-specific information page.
This topical issue of the Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society includes many articles pertinent to species that are invasive in Missouri, including a review article on Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii).
See more species-specific articles here on the MoIP website.
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is being threatened like never before by invasive plants and needs your help! If you haven’t considered doing invasive plant control volunteering before, the attachments will give you a good understanding of what’s involved. While we can’t spray this time of year, it does work to use cut/stump and pulling methods in winter as long as it’s above freezing and the ground isn’t frozen. It’s also a good time to give attention to some species/small projects that don’t get much attention during the growing season.
Attached are two planning docs that give details about locations/species/methods for work that needs to be done. The map shows locations of 3 spots along Clear Creek that need winter creeper pulled. This is an example of maps I can make as needed to help you find a particular location or I can take you out and show you a site that needs work. Notice the instructions doc. Please let me know what task you are willing to tackle and report when it’s done so I can keep this up to date and serve as a coordinator. If you can’t help directly, perhaps you can forward this on to others who can.
I want to thank those of you who have been working on invasive plant control. I’m estimating that we spot sprayed bush honeysuckle on about 300 acres in the Eastern part of the Gans Creek Wild Area this fall after natives lost their leaves! And our SPYC crew worked all summer with various species and methods. Having worked here for 25 years, I know of many locations that are in good shape today that would have become grown up in invasive plants except that we intervened on behalf of our native plants and animals. Let’s keep doing that!
To join the effort, call or email Roxie Campbell, park naturalist:
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
5901 S. Hwy. 163
Columbia, MO 65203
You will need to fill out and send the following forms to Roxie:
Environmental groups blasted USDA’s Jan. 17 decision to deregulate a genetically engineered creeping bentgrass that has taken root in two Oregon counties.
In a joint news release, the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety sharply criticized USDA’s decision to deregulate the grass, which was genetically modified to resist applications of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Corp.’s Roundup weed killer.
Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. and Monsanto developed the grass for use mainly on golf courses. —Read the rest of the article.
A 12/8/2016 Capital Press Ag news article documented the decision to deregulate the genetically engineered glyphosate-resistant creeping bentgrass will be made by the USDA Secretary of Agriculture after the close of the final public comment period. Download the rest of the article.
More on Agrostis stolonifer (creeping bentgrass):
- The intersection of ecological risk assessment and plant communities: an analysis of Agrostis and Panicum species in the northeastern U.S.
- Wetland and riparian plant communities at risk of invasion by transgenic herbicide-resistant Agrostis spp. in central Oregon
- Weediness and Persistance of Transgenic Bentgrass Hybrid
- Escape and establishment of transgenic glyphosateresistant creeping bentgrass
Agrostis stolonifera in Oregon, USA: a 4-year study