We all moved to Mountain Lakes because of its beauty and privacy of the community, however, we need to take serious steps to preserve this and reverse the current conditions that the Woodlands are suffering from. Your individual support is vital to this effort. How can you help?
BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU PLANT ON YOUR PROPERTY
Consult the Woodlands Management Committee, Garden Club, Environmental Commission, or Shade Tree Commission for guidance.
REMOVE UNWANTED INVASIVE PLANTS ON YOUR PROPERTY.
HELP US TO REMOVE THEM FROM THE WOODLANDS.
Humans are responsible for almost all of the invasive plant and animal problems. We have caused major ecological problems by introducing alien species into a new area, be it that we move from one area to another and want to recreate plantings that we had in a prior location or that we see something that looks appealing.
The problem is that there are not natural pests or diseases to control the spread of the non-native plants thus enabling them to over take and choke out the native plants. It is generally accepted that one species supports 10 species of animals, thus if an invasive plant takes over a habitat the impact of those lost native species will be measured in not only plants but in birds and animals to the point that extinction is quite possible.
Many of these occurred as a result of landscapers planting non-native plants in New Jersey. Examples are: Norway maple, Japanese Barberry, Asian Bittersweet, English Ivy, Mimosa, Wisteria, Japanese Honeysuckle, bugleweed, Bamboo, Day Lily, purple loosestrife, Tansy and Dame’s Rocket. Other plants have escaped local or federal projects: multiflora rose, crown vetch and Russian and autumn olive. In their native locations these plants are wonderful but not here in New Jersey.
Some of the worst invasives in our woodlands are: garlic mustard, Japanese barberry, Asian bittersweet, winged euonymous (burning bush), ailanthus (tree of heaven), Norway maple, polygonum (Japanese knotweed), privet, English ivy, multiflora rose. We also have a purple loosestrife problem, hopefully under control, at Sunset Lake.
RESIDENTS’ INVASIVES MANAGEMENT YEAR
Sponsored by the Woodlands Management Committee
For help in identification consult the sources listed on this website.
Throughout the year 2006, the Woodlands Management Committee published in the Home and School Bulletin month-by-month guidance for residents in helping to control the common invasive plants species in the Borough. As promised, here is a compilation of the information provided in that series of articles.
And please remember with your gardening and landscaping
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PLANT!
This is a good time to start pulling out invasive plants. Garlic mustard is very common and is easily identifiable by the small clusters of round leaves that have been green all winter. You can also pull out smaller plants of Japanese barberry, multiflora rose, wineberry, and oriental bittersweet.
This is the time when second-year garlic mustard plants send up stalks to flower and disperse thousands of seeds that can remain viable for years. Either pull the plants or cut off the stalks with a weed whacker. Do not worry at this point about the plants that are not sending up stalks. They are first-year plants that can be removed later in the year. Concentrate on the plants that are sending up stalks. Disposal is not a problem if you get to them before the seed pods form. If you are not so lucky, then gather them and put them in plastic bags.
Also, you can keep pulling out smaller plants of Japanese barberry, multiflora rose, wineberry, and oriental bittersweet.
Continue removing garlic mustard stalks as we did last month. By now, disposal is a problem because plants are going to seed. So the stalks should now be put into plastic garbage bags and disposed of in your garbage. You will notice that the leaves on the stalks are different from those in the clusters at the base. Do not be confused. It is all garlic mustard and should be removed.
As before, you can keep pulling out smaller plants of Japanese barberry, multiflora rose, wineberry, and oriental bittersweet.
Mid-July, August, September, October
This is the season for cutting off larger invasive species at the ground and treating the stump with an herbicide, such as Round-Up. Any seeds or berries should be put into plastic garbage bags for disposal. The plants to watch for and remove will be primarily Japanese barberry, multiflora rose, wineberry, oriental bittersweet, and winged euonymous (burning bush).
You can also pull any garlic mustard that you find unless there is too much. Areas with too much to be pulled as a practical matter can be treated with an herbicide in another month or so.
ANOTHER SPECIAL AUTUMN REMINDER:
Autumn leaves should never be deposited in Borough lots or woodlands, neither by residents nor by landscapers. Be very sure that they are properly disposed of.
November – December
This is the season for treating large patches of garlic mustard with an herbicide, such as Round-Up. It is generally safe to do this because other adjacent plants which might be affected are dormant. You can also pull smaller patches of garlic mustard. Disposal is not a problem. These plants will not produce seeds until next year. Because each plant can produce so many seeds, you get a very good return for your effort.
It is a little late for cutting and applying herbicide to the stumps but small seedlings and saplings can still be uprooted. This is particularly effective for ailanthus because the roots are shallow. A very good tool for uprooting small seedlings and saplings is the Weed Wrench. The Woodlands Committee has a set of them. Contact us if you would like to try one out.
For further information and guidance please refer to the following websites.
For Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s list of the worst invasive species in the New York metropolitan area
For the on-line report “Plant Invaders of the Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas”
For information on The Nature Conservancy’s Invasive Species Initiative
For a copy of an excellent 112-page report “An Overview of Nonindigenous Plant Species in New Jersey”
For the Home Page of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey
For two Rutgers riparian forest buffer websites