Tuesday, January 25, 2011

invasives: AYW Removes Ligustrum and Chinaberry

Austin Youth Works was out yesterday at the Reach helping to further an invasive plant removal project that we began in December at our workday. They cut down a number of ligustrum trees and seedlines, some chinaberry and others, including pyracantha (I think).

We will always be dealing with these non-native invasive species, but removing them now provides a good opportunity to replace them with similar natives. Cherry laurel, for example, is a good native alternative to ligustrum, since it provides winter berries for birds and its evergreen nature is good habitat.

So, you'll see some piles of plants that were cut down until they are removed by the City, and perhaps that the Reach looks a bit different without those evergreens dotting the banks...for now, that is...


deang said...
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deang said...

That's a lot of work removing ligustrums and chinaberries! And yes you will be removing seedlings of them for years to come; their seeds are throughout the soil most likely.

For replacements, though Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana) grows wild in central Texas now, it was introduced to the area in the mid-20th century as a landscaping plant. It is really not native farther west than East Texas, roughly stopping at the Brazos River drainage like most East Texas plants.

More regionally appropriate evergreen replacements would be Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria), Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora), Evergreen Sumac (Rhus virens), and Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) or Ashe Juniper (Juniperus ashei) (if planting cedars isn't too objectionable to you).

To replace the Chinaberries, a standard locally native replacement is Western Soapberry (Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii), sometimes called Wild China because of its berries' resemblance to Chinaberry fruits. And it attracts bluebirds, which is a plus. Other regionally appropriate Chinaberry replacements are Prairie Flameleaf Sumac (Rhus lanceolata), Escarpment Black Cherry (Prunus serotina var. eximia), Black Hickory (Carya texana), and Wafer Ash (Ptelea trifoliata).

Lee said...

Hi "deang." Wow! Thanks for the plant recommendations. That's fantastic.

Anonymous said...

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