There have been some questions about the little black bags along the trails. They are buckthorn baggies. We began using them last year in an effort to reduce our herbicide use. Before the baggies there were two ways to remove a buckthorn, we could pull it out or cut it down and apply a herbicide. Some times we do not want to apply a herbicide when the tree is near water or entwined with another tree we want to keep. We now have the option where we can bag the trunk to kill the tree.
After a year we have begun to recover some of the bags. We have found most have remained in place. If the bag is not placed in contact with the ground the buckthorn will sprout shoots at ground level. Where they have remained on the tree trunk at ground level they have been effective in killing the trees. In many cases we have been finding ant colonies reducing the tree to compost. If you see a black bag along the trail please leave it in place.