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Through the Lens

Today’s Battle in the War on Woody Invaders

Fri, June 15, 2018

I had the unique experience of having a front row seat this morning at Peabody SFWA in southerwestern Illinois for an aerial attack on that dreadful Russian Olive and Bush Honeysuckle.

Let’s face it, we are at war with those invaders, especially in the strip hills where our DNR is working hard to re establish the grasslands and prairies.

Today’s battle was fought with the aerial application of a targeted herbicide.  Here’s where I probably should interject that many a dinner table conversation with husband at our house has taken a contentious turn given my overall distaste for herbicides and pesticides. Consequently, I was greatly relieved to see the care, planning, and safety that was involved in this mornings application.

It was a well-controlled, well planned attack – with careful input from the pilot, the site super, the wildlife biologist, all concerned parties.  Despite everyone’s distaste for the offensive plants, the overall goal of reestablishing some prime grassland habitat was paramount in everyone’s mind. Safety and proper use was reviewed, maps consulted, and off-limits areas designated prior to a single drop being loaded onto the helicopter for spraying. As much as we may hate those invaders this was not some crazy slash, burn, dump and run attack on every living thing in sight.

Here’s a look at today’s aerial battle against those woody invaders!



The helicopter staging area was placed at the far back side if the SFWA where interference with morning anglers, hikers, birdwatchers and general park traffic would be minimal.


Site Super Mic Middleton makes sure everyone is clear on all aspects of the project before start time.



The planning and safety meeting


All set up and ready to start transferring chemical



Time to get things loaded and underway!



And he’s off!


The attack on the woody invaders

This is just one of example of our “boots on the ground” men and women working everyday to provide us with the best possible land experience we can have. Hats off to those fellows out there in the unrelenting heat today doing battle against the woody invaders and helping to reestablish some soon to be prime grassland habitat!

Comments

G - What kind of herbicide is being used?

We use glyphosate (aka round up) in the late fall and early spring.  We pick those times because the honeysuckle is the last to loose its leaves and first to get them so its easy to identify and target just those plants instead of a wholesale kill off of an area.  I’m not aware of a target specific herbicide for the honeysuckle.

Posted by buckbull on June 17

I think = and heavy on the think - they used a mix but I know some of it Garlan/Stalker. I don’t know if it’s specific to the bush honeysuckle, but is for woody shrubs. They do some on smaller scale in the fall like you do I think. There’s not much in those strip hills in spots but russian olive and bush honeysuckle anymore. Cause you know…back in the day we thought planting russian olive in strip hills was a good thing LOL

Posted by G on June 18

Well it looks like the DNR is funding some things at least at Peabody.  This operation had to cost a couple of bucks.  Curious why do it on a weekend, you would think a lot less problems or planning with Park vistors on a say a Monday.  I also know here up north weekend work would cost a lot more, maybe different down south.  Also curious on what they do after the kill off to keep that crap from taking over again.  Once its dead do they go in and do a chop and grind to all the dead bushes to open it up.

Posted by BIGPOND on June 18

Oops just saw you posted that on Friday forget about weekend stuff.

Posted by BIGPOND on June 18

That’s interesting.  Stalker herbicide is a basal bark herbicide, meaning you spray a ring around the base of the shrub you are trying to kill, and yet it looks like it was sprayed with a foliage applicator.

Posted by buckbull on June 18

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