Crow’s Nest: Good old-fashioned vine cutting!

November 17, 2019

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

We had an incredible volunteer day at Crow’s Nest today, a group of enthusiastic folks cutting vines and invasive shrubs in not one, not two, but three hedgerows. I had planned the project in one, with another as a backup. Never did I think we’d be starting on a third!

We freed many trees from the burden of vines in an area that I can say with confidence hasn’t received a lot of attention in recent years. Our group clipped Oriental bittersweet, autumn olive, shrub honeysuckle, and multiflora rose.

One volunteer, who shall remain nameless, was so engaged in cutting vines that he didn’t notice that the rest of us were wrapping up for the day and enjoying hot cider and cookies on the tailgate of the truck. His focused attention on his work brought to mind one of my favorite books from my childhood: Virginia Lee Burton’s Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. We did retrieve him from the woods, otherwise he might still be there!

As always I am grateful for the generosity and camaraderie of our volunteers. Thank you for coming out and having such an impact. The question sometimes arises, couldn’t the job be done faster with mechanized equipment? No, is the simple answer. Fifteen people can rescue a greater number of trees in a few hours than I can alone with a chainsaw, and if I were to use larger equipment, like a tractor and bush hog, I’d be clearing the space but not rescuing the existing trees. So thank you all!