On April 17, Phil Stokes led a team of Charlottesville Area Tree Steward (CATS) volunteers restoring, expanding, and protecting a Cub Scout native tree and shrub planting in the bird-watching area between the Education Building and the Barn at the Ivy Creek Natural Area. Two years ago, Cub Scouts planted downey serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), winterberry (Ilex verticillata), and persimmon (Diospyros virginiana). The CATS volunteers cleared weeds, pulled out invasive competitors, and spread fresh mulch. They then planted several additional pagoda dogwood and winterberry, as well as blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium). All of these natives are highly rated as bird habitat. The CATS team also placed wire cages around the trees and shrubs to protect them for the future from browsing deer.
English Ivy Removal at UVA
Are there trees under those mounds of English Ivy on the UVA campus across from the Rec Center on Massie Road? There are – and we worked hard on April 13 to uncover them!! UVA students from the Madison House Student Volunteer Center on their “Big Event” workday joined tree stewards to save trees covered in non-native invasive vines. We freed over 100 trees. In the upcoming months, the vines that had climbed to the tops of these trees and threatened to topple them will dry out and eventually drop off. As they drop, they will no longer be likely to cause the trees to blow down. But already the trees are more healthy since they no longer have to compete with the vines for water and nutrients. As the ivy leaves that have covered the tree leaves fall off, the trees will have the sunlight they need to produce food and stay healthy for years to come. Thank you Madison House and UVA!