Friday, November 6, 2015

Window Of Opportunity, Every Fall

This is bush honeysuckle, one of the invasive plants eating the understories of Illinois timber. It is very shade tolerant, and it can get big. It will make your timber impenetrable if you ignore it for several years. It has a great weakness, though. It stays green after frost when all the other plants in a woods have gone dormant and shed their leaves. It also drinks up glyphosate herbicide and dies much more easily than some of the other invasive plants out there.

A 3 gallon backpack sprayer is the only equipment you need to go after this plant, and you will need to re-treat your woods every fall for several years to eradicate it. A mist blower is a more aggressive tool for applying herbicide, and it is well worth the money if you have an advanced bush honeysuckle infection in your woods.

We will be out spraying these plants in our woods the next couple weekends, nipping our problem in the bud. Killing this pest is one of the easier tasks a forest landowner should do, and it is always gratifying to kill unwanted vegetation.


Merle Morrison said...

What's the difference between bush & vine honeysuvkle? When I lived in Virginia people loved the vine & planted it everyplace.


David aka True Blue Sam said...

Bush honeysuckle does not go up trees; Japanese honeysuckle does. A healthy deer herd will keep Japanese honeysuckle under control so it's not too serious a pest. I have seen it in places with no deer, and it can kill timber by riding over trees. Nothing eats bush honeysuckle, and its shade tolerance allows it to take over the ground under a timber canopy. You can buy it at most garden outlets, so the infection spreads from homes and offices all over the country. People like it because of the bright red berries it has in the fall. We like Jap honeysuckle because of the sweet fragrance of the flowers. I think Japanese honeysuckle is underrated as a cause of deer herds expanding quickly. It feeds and shelters deer during winter.

Merle Morrison said...

OK, thank you.