In our part of the world, Asian Bush Honeysuckle may be the most invasive foreign plant in existence. Its appeal as a decorative shrub was likely the cause of its introduction into the New World. Hardy beyond comparison, the pink or white flowers are attractive and their scent is pleasant. Berries for the birds and nesting sites make this plant seem like a responsible planting subject.
We first encountered the bush we call Japanese Honeysuckle behind our former village home. A disused sawmill site had been totally claimed by huge bushes. Far more than head high, a walk among them soon had one nearly lost. During our time here on this land, these invaders claimed and held waste places. Now they are taking over some former fields. The birthday rental machine is well suited to remove these unwelcome aliens. It topples them with such ease the process is satisfying!
Roots that seem to run forever in many different directions make these shrubs difficult to remove with hand tools. A pry bar and fulcrum can reveal the location of roots that can be cut with loppers. Given enough time and energy, it is possible to dig these plants by hand. The skidder makes quick work of even huge specimens. In just one weekend and fabulous progress has been made!
We call this glacial kame terrace the high meadow. The view to the east features our nearby bedrock ridge. It penetrates into the valley forcing the Unadilla River to change its generally southerly course. For airborne birds, butterflies or machines, the direct down river path is directly over our meadow.
Bushes this size are easily removed with the skidder. Most of the time their roots seem to run forever and sizable chunks of turf are sometimes torn up. Much work will be required to repair the damage done but it is best to allow time to remove the soil from the root masses.
When Amy was living and working in NYC, this flat meadow was visited often when she spent a weekend with us. The view here runs full circle and the pervasive quiet is quite a change from ever present city noise. This picture shows the western ridge that parallels the normal course of the river and one of my piles of removed bushes!.
Each end of the meadow now holds an impressive sized pile of removed honeysuckles. Come winter we may have a burn here when snow cover protects against wild fires. It was tremendously satisfying to return this former cow pasture to its former appearance. We shall try to prevent the return of the invaders.
Three different uses of the birthday rental machine can be seem here. A path to our electric pole was opened up. This involved the removal of more bush honeysuckles. A section of the bank that encroaches on our driveway has been pushed back. More needed to be done but thunder storms will visit here today. The cleared section will keep rain water runoff from crossing the driveway here. The new gravel lane surface awaits compaction from the truck.
The past three days and the big machine have been different and wonderful. We frequently pass by the loader at roadside with a sign inviting its rental. That always caught my imagination but I remained unsure that I could operate it. Amy removed that hurdle with a weekend machine rental. I suspect that the machine will make a return visit as much remains to be done here. Thank you Amy!