Ripping out ivy

English Ivy cleared from bank, piled on ground to die

English Ivy cleared from bank, piled on ground to die

I decided that the English Ivy might not be so bad to tackle if I did it a chunk at a time.  So I started with the chunk that is southernmost, attempting to expand its range.  All the area that is dead leaves in the photo was covered.  You can see the edge of the blue-green ivy patch in the rightmost tenth of the photo – everything else you see is natives.

Neighbors stopped by to ask why I didn’t like English Ivy.  I told them I love how it holds the bank and looks nice in winter, but wasn’t so crazy about how it climbs the trees and smothers anything small that isn’t woody, and it was starting to climb on our buildings and cover the stairs.

Over a few weeks I have been trying to get it off the ironwoods, which it seems to particularly like to climb.  Maples, not so much.  First I cut the ivy stems all around the ironwood trunks, making sure to pry the cut ends away from each other.  Nothing – the ivy above the cut still looked healthy.  So I ripped off a 5 foot section of ivy and threw it away.  Nothing!  Maybe the winter will do it in without roots.

Pokeweed

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) N

I gathered some ripe (purple) Pokeweed seeds from a neighbor’s plant to put in the area across the driveway I’m trying to bring back native.  A lot of people hate pokeweed because it’s pushy, but birds love it and I think it’s beautiful and would love to see it thriving.  The area I put it in has a small sunny part bounded by lake, road and shade, so I don’t expect it will spread much.

Male Cardinal feeds hop hornbeam seeds to baby, croppedWhile I was working, I heard incessant chirping.  I figured my cat was annoying someone by his presence so I went to go see, but he was nowhere near – it was a baby Cardinal up in an ironwood tree hopping around following its dad and demanding to be fed.  The poor dad was feeding it ironwood seeds as fast as he could.  The next weekend I saw them doing the same thing in a black willow.

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