You may notice cutting of the vegetation on the perimeter of the prairie areas. We are preparing fire breaks for a burn in the spring. Our goals of the burn is to set back woody species like:
1. Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) a species that contains a chemical called Juglone which controls competition and if left unmanaged can shade out or kill plants that are not resistant to the chemical.
2. Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa) a clonal shrub which is prevalent in the prairie.
3. Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) a woody vine species that is choking out the oak trees on the edge of the prairie.
Other goals include to control the spread of Crown Vetch (Securigera varia) an invasive legume that spreads 10 feet a year and produces seeds that can remain viable in the soil for 15 years. (Crown Vetch is not a woody species but is considered an invasive in Wisconsin).
Finally other benefits of periodic burning are to remove thatch, stimulate regrowth of native plants, and return nutrients back into the soil.
The proposed burn areas are shown below in red.