Pulled bittersweet--what to do next?

efeuerJuly 12, 2012

I I have a small woodsy bed beside my driveway. I estimate it to be about 50' x 100', oval. I spent the last couple of weeks trying to control the European bittersweet, which had gotten to immense proportions. I cut the stems and treated the cut stumps with Roundup. I then removed as much as I could of the ground level vines. The stems were seriously 2 to 3 inches in diameter. I'm sure there will be some resprouting and seedlings coming up, but I will try to stay on top of it going forward.

My question is what to do next with the bed. It is pretty empty at this point. There are still a few non-native things to come out, especially European buckthorn. There are a couple of quite deformed cherry trees (also non-native.) There are a couple of hollies, probably American, about 10 feet tall. The largest trees are two big locusts and a beautiful tulip tree. Still, there is a lot of empty space.

Would it be a good idea to plant some trees at this point? I am afraid of regrowth from the bittersweet and I'm wondering if it might be best to leave it mostly empty for the time being, until I have the invasive species under better control.

I am also not sure what to plant. Oak is the climax forest around here, but it grows pretty slowly. I am 58, and I would like to see something more than a sapling in my lifetime! I also thought of River Birch and red Maple. I live in central New Jersey, and all of those plants are native here. Alternatively, I could just plant some smaller trees like alternate leave dogwood, amelanchier, or some shrubs such as viburnum

Thanks for any suggestions.

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If you keep on the bittersweet with Roundup, it should be dead enough by fall to replant.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 8:49PM
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Carrie B(6B/7A)

I'm not so far from you, and most of the cherries that come up here are native. They're aggressive and weedy, but they are native. Are you certain that yours are not? Planting some fast growing trees could be a good start. The ones you've mentioned, plus Cercis, Liriodendron, beech and others.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:38AM
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