Discovery Point Restoration Work Begins

Buckthorn Removal: Before and After

Buckthorn Removed from Discovery Point

A section of land at Discovery Point looks dramatically different after the understory was removed on February 7th. It may look like we cleared out the forest, but the true story is that the dense understory was made up of invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle. These two plants are harmful to forests. They shade out native plants and have little value to wildlife. By removing the buckthorn and invasive honeysuckle, we are making the land at Discovery Point healthier.

This is the first stage of restoration work at the property. Next, selected trees will be removed to improve light conditions for when it is time to plant native seeds and plugs. The trees that are being removed were carefully selected during the restoration planning process. Many of the trees being removed are classified by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as invasive (i.e. Siberian Elm) or are susceptible to sudden mortality from Dutch Elm Disease (i.e. American Elm) or pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer (i.e. Green Ash). Some of the trees are already diseased or dying and would need to be removed regardless of the restoration.

In the spring, the site will be seeded with a native seed mix on half the site and a fescue mix on the other half. This educational approach will allow us to compare the cost, maintenance, and effectiveness of each against re-sprouting buckthorn and other invasive plants. Trees and shrubs will also be planted on the site in different locations.

Learn more: Discovery Point Ecological Master Plan_2016 (PDF)

HOW WAS THE BUCKTHORN REMOVED?

A machine called a forestry mower was used to clear about an acre of buckthorn in six hours. The machine shreds and chips the buckthorn, leaving a mulch layer on the forest floor.

We are excited about the ecological restoration on our site! Please ask us questions and take time to visit our site to learn more. You can contact Erica, Education and Outreach Program Manager, at 952-358-2276 or esniegowski@ninemilecreek.org with your questions or comments.

Learn more about the first phase of restoration at Discovery Point: Discovery Point Restoration