At Jackson P. Burley Middle School on Charlottesville’s Rose Hill Drive, English ivy is smothering numerous older trees along the stream that runs beside the school’s playing fields. On February 8—a dry, cool morning—20 members of CATS and the APO service organization at the University of Virginia attacked the invasive vines and bushes that were overwhelming the large native trees. This volunteer effort is just the beginning of an ongoing project to beautify Burley’s campus and to protect the stream. It complements the work of the Rivanna Conservation Alliance, which has been planting trees and is making a rain garden on the school grounds.
On February 1, cold fog gradually gave way to warmth and sunshine as a team of 18 Tree Stewards pruned young trees at the junction of McIntire Road, the U.S. 250 Bypass and the John W. Warner Parkway. Guided by CATS pruning instructor Tim Maywalt, the crew carefully removed dead and decayed material, branches that in time would obstruct visibility for drivers and pedestrians, and limbs that would likely fail as the trees mature. Trees that received beneficial trimming included river birches, American hornbeams, and swamp white oaks. The volunteers also liberated trees along Schenks Branch that were smothered in invasive vines. More pruning excursions along the John W. Warner Parkway and other city streets are scheduled for March 7 and April 4.
More of the campus of Charlottesville’s Jackson-Via Elementary School can now be enjoyed by students, teachers and the community, thanks to the work of the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards and members of the APO service fraternity from the University of Virginia. First, on January 20, Tree Stewards Allen Ingling and Greg Hunt took chainsaws to tangles of invasive vegetation—including multiflora rose, Japanese honeysuckle, and oriental bittersweet—intwined with the remains of dead trees. On Saturday, January 25, the entire 18-member crew moved in for further trimming and to pile up the debris for chipping and removal by the city.
Spearheaded by Tree Steward Elise Burroughs, the project is part of an ongoing effort to improve the grounds and restore natural conditions at Jackson-Via. CATS will work with the city to plant appropriate trees on the cleared site at a later date.