Old Calf Pasture
New England Wild Flower Society conservation staff worked on invasive control on Old Calf Pasture in Concord, MA, using a new approach to herbicide application.
by John Burns
PCV Corps Administrative Coordinator
The Conservation Department spent six days in the fall of 2011 with volunteers clearing invasive species from the Old Calf Pasture in Concord, Massachusetts. This is a beautiful piece of town land at the confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers, forming the Concord River. A large field is maintained by the Town of Concord, but glossy buckthorn and Asian bittersweet has significantly encroached.
Initial efforts about nine years ago involved cutting and removing buckthorn stems from the more open areas of the field. A once-a-year mowing regime was established to keep the woody species from taking over the field, with little success. The response of the invasive buckthorn has been to develop a larger, hardier root stock in which to store energy. This is a case where herbicides are required due to the high costs of labor and resources to manually manage the area.
Using a new approach to carefully applying herbicides to plants, members of the staff used herbicide laden gloves to wipe on the leaves before they fell. Herbicide was applied directly to the cut stumps of larger specimens where leaves would be harder to reach. Now in the second year of the project, we have seen some significant results and look forward to more final steps in the spring to come.