Chris & Annie are working hard to remove Phragmites, an invasive plant, in Milton.
NepRWA staff and volunteers are working to remove Phragmites to help restore Pine Tree Brook in Milton. The plan is to cut back the dead material from past year’s growth and burn the cut reeds (seen in the video) for site preparation.
In the fall of 2018, NepRWA is having a licensed herbicide applicator treat the new sprouts that are bound to come up this spring and summer. Prepping the site in the winter is an important step because it allows easy access to the entire patch for the herbicide applicators and it reduces the amount of herbicide they will use because they will easily be able to target only new living growth. While our strong preference is always to avoid the use of herbicides, when it comes to Phragmites there is no other feasible approach for controlling this extremely invasive plant.
The fall is the best time to apply herbicide because that is when the Phragmites is moving resources, and consequently herbicide towards its rhizome for winter storage. Killing the rhizome is the key to controlling Phragmites.
The plan does not currently involve planting anything else at the site, although we may need to. There is a lot of really healthy wetland surrounding the site and our hope is that clearing out the Phragmites will be enough to activate the seedbank. We will continue to monitor the site for many years and actively plant if necessary, and of course we would only plant natives that are found in the surrounding wetlands.
For any questions about this project, please contact NepRWA Environmental Scientist, Chris Hirsch at firstname.lastname@example.org