by Linda Jo Conn
While I and a couple of others watched, a group of hard-working El Camino Real Texas Master Naturalist members and trainees girdled three of the large specimens of invasive Glossy Privets (Ligustrum lucidum) on the grounds of the Wilson-Ledbetter Park in Cameron. The weather cooperated. It was pleasant with a hint of a chill in the breeze.
Cliff Tyllick, known to iNaturalists as “baldeagle”, is a self-appointed eradicator of invasive species. He regularly leads volunteer groups in Austin at the Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park to remove invasive plants. Read Cliff’s profile at https://www.inaturalist.org/people/baldeagle.
First, Cliff demonstrated the technique to the group and showed the proper use of each of the tools in his girdling kit. Several members came equipped with their own tools, some newly purchased, along with an eagerness to learn.
Carolyn Henderson, ECR Chapter President and coordinator of the volunteer project, showed the determination that is necessary for the job.
Cliff was always ready and eager to share his knowledge about tree growth and structure with the folks. He explains the basics of a technique to trainee Linda Burgess.
Mike Conner, a well-seasoned warrior against invasive and aggressive species on his own property, attacked and conquered several large and difficult trunks of privet.
Mariann Buegler showed her grit and fortitude and is now at the final stages of the process using a spray bottle of 70% alcohol and a scrub pad.
Catherine Johnson and Carolyn inspect the progress on a girdle.
Debbie Sorenson and Liz Lewis are rightfully proud of their finished girdling job. Great work!
For an instructional guide on girdling of invasive species, watch “Girdling Invasive Trees with Cliff Tyllick” below (this is the same one that our other tree girdling post featured):
Not only did we learn about the technique of girdling to eliminate invasive species without the use of herbicides from Cliff, we also learned about the detrimental effects of invasive species in the natural ecology.
To view one of the Glossy Privets attacked by the group, see my iNat observation at: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/108564382. The privet will be revisited several times in the future to document its demise and the success of the workday by a remarkable group of ECR volunteers.