Crow’s Nest (and other preserves): Why we don’t want you to dump your yard waste here

November 16, 2011

As the storm cleanup progresses I can’t help noticing that some of the preserve neighbors have been putting the brush that fell in their yards, back in the woods—not their woods but on our lands that are the preserve. “It’s just woods,” or “Nobody will notice,” or “It’s biodegradable.” Here’s why we’d prefer you didn’t.

Of course, if the branches fell from the preserve’s trees, call us and we will remove them or chip them. (Call us also if there are branches from our trees that look like they might fall on your property. We’d much rather control where and when they fall if they are a concern to you.) If the branches are from your own trees, why not create a space in your yard to store that brush?

The problem with dragging it onto the preserve is that it may contain seeds of non-native and perhaps invasive plants that we don’t want to encourage at the preserve. While we do keep brush piles for habitat at the preserve, we choose carefully where to put them and we also maintain them to be free of vines and weeds. And we don’t make brush piles from branches already loaded with weed seeds such as those of Norway maple.

Just yesterday I was pulling a patch of the invasive groundcover periwinkle (Vinca minor) that arrived with someone’s yard clippings.

We don’t want the edges of our property to look like, well, a dump. Lines of brush piles on our boundary block the view into the preserve and can become a ladder for vines to get up into the trees. After I finish storm cleanup at the preserve I will be knocking on doors to see what we can do to get your brush off of the preserve.