Maintaining a small prairie remnant in southeastern Wisconsin

slowlane

Observer
man, that's beautiful. nice to see the seasons (and you) do their work there through these photos.
Thanks. It is a lot of work, sometimes tedious, but overall I am enjoying it. It's satisfying to step back from an area after I've been working it a while and seeing the slow transformation. I think these hills will be snow-covered pretty soon. I'm exited for next summer since I missed the bulk of it this year with my broken foot. Hopefully some more native plants that have been hidden in this area will sprout now that they can get some sunlight.
 
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slowlane

Observer
I did some more work at the prairie the past few days. I'm working the margins of the previously bad area around the big oak. The buckthorn thins out at the margins so before and after pictures don't show the dramatic transformation like the earlier one did. Now it's trickier because the buckthorn is growing up through grass, so it takes a bit of poking around through the grass to find the stumps and treat them after cutting.

Here's an overall picture of the prairie covered hills looking west. There is one big hill behind me as well. The right side of the picture is the big tree I've been working around. It was a cold but pretty morning.
 

plh

Explorer
The buckthorn thins out at the margins so before and after pictures don't show the dramatic transformation like the earlier one did. Now it's trickier because the buckthorn is growing up through grass, so it takes a bit of poking around through the grass to find the stumps and treat them after cutting.
Beautiful photos. Buckthorn is evil, it is even difficult to keep out of my yard in SE WI.
 

slowlane

Observer
Beautiful photos. Buckthorn is evil, it is even difficult to keep out of my yard in SE WI.
Thanks. Yep buckthorn sucks. It's nearly impossible to eradicate once it's taken a hold in an area. Natural areas like this are especially hard to control because you can't just go in clear cutting and broadcasting herbicide or you'll also wipe out everything good your trying to help. This is going to be a multi-year project on the hill tops that hopefully will eventually get to a maintenance stage versus major removal.
 
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