Friday, July 20, 2012

Black Locust resurrection

Tropical Storm Irene annihilated a great number of trees along coastal Connecticut in 2011 only to be followed by a similar destruction in the Snowtober "winter" storm for inland areas. We lost a great deal of valuable vegetation, but we also had the benefit of having many non-native and/or invasive species wiped off our map. These are often more sensitive to the natural forces of our region, not having adapted to survive here in conditions other than typical ones.

In a lot of places I've seen these undesirable species fighting back with fury, blooming or expanding as quickly as possible despite being destroyed. As an example, this Black Locust growth is a result of an entire tree being ripped apart with the tattered remains chainsawed down to the stump. It has tried to grow back through this stump and roots up to 50 feet away with dozens of shoots popping up everywhere through the grass. Below is a very tiny depiction of this.

While native to the continent at least (the southeast), the Black Locust is an invasive species that can dominate an area and push out others. This sprouting and the extremely wide-spread roots along with the fast speed of the regrowth only help display how much of a problem it can be. And to think this is one of our least concerns when it comes to invasive plants...

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

Photo © Scott Kruitbosch and not to be reproduced without explicit permission

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