Battle Plan for Clearing Woody Invasives
I have an area with great conditions for my future woodland garden: filtered part sun, nice sloping terrain, great organic soil, attractive exposed boulders, etc. But among the couple of large shade trees there are lots of unwanted & invasives at understory and ground level. Rosa multiflora, poison ivy, Hedera helix, Japanese honeysuckle, and many weedy Sassafras that come up everywhere from previously cut plants which are now practicaly impossible to dig up.
I want to clear the woody weeds enough to be able to plant a variety of native shrubs for insect / animal habitat & food. I can get infinite amount of wood chip to mulch paths, but what to put down or plant on ground level to try to replace the vines and such?
I understand it will be a long term battle, mostly heavy manual work. Though I am afraid I'll also have to use herbicide too at least to eradicate the poison ivy.
Any suggestions for a battle plan? Any encouraging stories of success?