In Fall 2018, we conducted a non-native invasive species inventory on a 7.7 acre lakeside property in Putnam Valley. We surveyed the following habitat: upland forest, riparian forest stream corridor, forest edge, and disturbed habitat along the roads and construction zone areas. Overall, we found that Berberis thunbergii (Japanese Barberry) shrubs and Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental Bittersweet) woody vine pose the biggest threat to plant diversity because these species are the most abundant non-native invasive species on the property.
In response, our team hand pulled invasive vines like Oriental Bittersweet and cut down shrubby invasives like Japanese Barberry down to the ground. Once pulled, we burned the stumps of the barberry. In the process we uncovered historic building piers that had been covered by the invasives. In the future the cleared area will be repurposed into a contemplative garden space that the property owners can enjoy.
In addition to invasive species removal, we seeded all areas where there is visible bare soil on the property to help stabilize the soil and help native vegetation compete with non-native species. Annual rye and clover were mostly used for temporary seeding, with some native wildflowers and grasses in specific areas.
The invasive species survey and removal were part of an ongoing landscape constructin and stewardship for the property. The future project includes waterfront access, family-friendly features, contemplative and meditative spaces, woodland trails, and self-sustaining natural areas. Stay tuned for more!