Private landowner, Charlotte, VT
Property Acres: 40 acres
Infestation Acres: 30 acres
Prior to treatment, the wooded areas were very heavily infested with shrub honeysuckles and common buckthorn and a few plants of Japanese barberry. Plants ranged in size from small seedlings/saplings to mature, fruiting plants. Contractors were originally concerned that treatment work on this property might not be feasible or successful due to the heavy level of infestation. Garlic mustard infestations began in a localized area near the gardens (likely brought in from off site in material used in the garden) and has since spread rapidly on the western half of the property, following a wet river valley to the north. Two small patches of Bishop’s goutweed were found near the garden and garage but were not found anywhere else on the property.
Land Management Goals
Overarching Goals/Plan: The landowner would like to completely eradicate invasive plants from the property and would like to restore the property to a more natural example of the local ecosystem. The landowner is committed to eradicating the invasive plant species on this property but understands that this is a very long term vision and will require several years of follow-up treatments in the future. The landowner is also interested in managing the property to become better wildlife habitat.
Site-led or weed-led: Efforts on this property are site-led. The landowner expressed an interest in eventually having this property be free of all invasive plants. The combination of treatment methods have targeted a range of invasive plant species.
Special Features or Conservation Values: The property is especially valuable as a wildlife corridor to a variety of wildlife species in the area.
Type (manual, mechanical, chemical, other): A variety of treatment methods have occurred on this property. Smaller woody stemmed invasive plants have been mostly hand pulled and hung to dry. Larger woody stemmed invasive plants have been treated with both backpack foliar herbicide applications and cut stump herbicide applications. Garlic mustard has been hand pulled and bagged for disposal and starting in 2011 was treated with a backpack foliar herbicide application. Each year, garlic mustard plants were hand pulled in the spring, to avoid the plant from flowering and setting seed. The herbicide treatment of garlic mustard will treat the plants in the early spring and fall months annually. The two infestations of goutweed were treated with a backpack foliar herbicide application.
Date of Treatment:
- Year 1: Herbicide treatment began with larger, mature woody stemmed invasive plants.
- Year 2: Treatment of smaller woody stemmed invasives. Hand pulling of garlic mustard began.
- Year 3: Garlic mustard was foliar sprayed in the fall. A foliar herbicide application was completed on goutweed for the first time.
Tools: Backpack foliar sprayer, chain saw, hand held herbicide dispensers.
If Chemical: type and concentration of herbicide: Woody stemmed invasives were treated with Thinvert RTU containing Accord XRT and Habitat brand herbicides. Cut stumped woody stemmed invasive plants were treated with Accord XRT brand herbicide and goutweed and garlic mustard plants were foliar treated with Accord XRT brand herbicide as well. Accord XRT brand herbicide’s active ingredient is glyphosate.
Who Completed the Work: Contractors have completed all of the herbicide application treatment work as well as some of the manual treatment. The landowner has also hired local college students for three years to do some manual treatment of smaller woody stemmed invasive plants as well as garlic mustard plants.
Total Costs: Since 2009, invasive plant treatment on this property has exceeded $15,000. Every year, treatment work will cost the landowner less money once mature source plants are removed from the property and the need for herbicide application becomes less and less. The intention is to continue to employ local students to keep hand pulling smaller invasive plants as they emerge from the seed bank.
Labor Costs (treatment hours, and number employed): Approximately 90% of the overall costs are associated with labor costs.
Material Costs (herbicides, other tools): Approximately 10% of the overall costs are associated with material costs, such as herbicides.
Funding Sources: The landowner privately funds invasive plant treatment work on this property.
Success of Initial Treatment: Both cut stump and foliar herbicide application treatments of the mature, woody stemmed invasive plants has been very successful. After three years of treatment very few large, mature plants remain on the property. Hand pulling garlic mustard was successful in reducing the number of plants found in one location however the infestation continued to spread rapidly to new areas of the property. The extent of this infestation warranted a change in treatment from hand pulling to foliar herbicide application. The success of the goutweed treatment has yet to be determined but follow-up treatment is expected.
Follow-up Treatment Needed: The need for foliar and cut stump herbicide application on woody stemmed invasives has been significantly reduced (perhaps completely) however follow-up treatment is required for the smaller plants. Hand pulling is expected to continue for several years and should be scheduled for the spring and fall months when the ground is moist and the plants are easy to pull. Foliar herbicide application will be required for goutweed and garlic mustard for at least 2-3 years. Garlic mustard rosettes will be treated in the early spring and late summer to be most effective and avoid targeting surrounding native vegetation.