I spent much of the morning cutting down Asian bush honeysuckle at George Owens Nature Park in Independence. This stuff is an invasive species that is taking over many wild areas. It can grow 4-6 feet per year, is generally the first thing to leaf-out in the spring and the last to drop leaves in the winter, shading the soil under a dense canopy. Some varieties release a chemical into the soil that further inhibits other plants. It’s nasty, nasty stuff. After cutting, the stumps must be painted with a herbicide and the area will require regular monitoring and follow-up treatment to catch the sprouts. It sounds like a never-ending job, doesn’t it? There’s a lot more work like this in my future.
Afterward I headed to Liberty to hike with a friend at Stocksdale Park and then Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary (where we also saw large areas lost to the honeysuckle).