Wielding loppers and pruning saws, Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards mounted two aggressive campaigns against invasive species this past week. Undaunted by windy conditions on November 16, a hardy band of CATS members joined forces with students from U.Va.’s Madison House to clear out oriental bittersweet, porcelain berry, honeysuckle and other invaders at Jackson-Via Elementary School. Tree Stewards Elise Burroughs and Camille Wilson organized the effort to free up cherry trees and native sumac and to make room for planting more native species. CATS will work with the city and school authorities to explore further ways to improve Jackson-Via’s extensive grounds, which include a lovely wooded trail.
On November 20, the morning chill gave way to sunshine as another CATS contingent took aim at English ivy, oriental bittersweet and other vines attacking trees along the Schenks Greenway, the park that runs between McIntire Road and Schenks Branch north of the Albemarle County Office Building. Toine Wyckoff led the CATS volunteers as they followed up on our previous work to remove invasives from white pines, river birches, American hollies and other trees along the creek.