Roads & Rails Field Guide
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   Highlands Field Guide
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training  Training Overview PDF

Parking Pass
Our community officer has agreed to cooperate with Adopt-A-Plot. He will not ticket cars parked on the shoulder if you display this sign prominently in your windshield.  Please do not abuse this privilege. CAUTION: There is no iron-clad assurance that another officer on patrol might not get the word.

How do we know which vines are “invasive”, how do we remove them, and are any special tools needed?

We are after three key non-native, invasive vines:  English Ivy, Mile-a-Minute, and Bittersweet. We are also targeting Japanese Honeysuckle although it is not as rampant in our woods. Tips & YouTube links below tell you how to identify & remove them. Visit your plot at least once per year, and cut these vines where they are growing up on tree trunks. Each vine gets slightly different treatment, but in all cases cut vines near the base of the tree.  In no instance pull up any root from the ground as this could disturb soil and is not authorized by the County.  Our woods lie within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, and both State and County regulations forbid soil disturbance without separate permit.

Please visit your plot at least once per year and cut vines that are growing on the trees and bushes. Each vine gets slightly different treatment:

  • English Ivy: To remove a single strand of vine, cut near the base of the tree and pick the strand off the tree. For a vine a half inch thick or more, cut the vine near the base of the tree and again cut the vine about two feet up the trunk. Remove the cut piece if you can do so without pulling off bark. Pruning shears, or secateurs, are fine for Ivy. A flat-head screwdriver will help you pull the larger vine away from the tree so you can cut it in 2 places. Do not pull up from the ground as this could disturb soil and is not authorized by the County. A helpful YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U1RD9t0Qhk
  • Bittersweet: Cut two feet or so of vine length from any vine you see on a tree. Bittersweet puts out thin leafy shoots waving up from the ground in search of a bush or tree limb to strangle. New growth can be cut with pruning shears, but for vines thicker than about an inch, you’ll need loppers. Let FMC know if you see vines too large for loppers. Do not pull the large vines off trees as they can be long and heavy and hurt you or others with you when they fall. As always, do not pull up vines from the ground as this could disturb soil and is not authorized by the County. Two Helpful videos:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8R1Q3J0oh8  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdnlf3mLPks
  • Mile-a-Minute: You will need gloves and long sleeves and pants for this because the vine has tiny barbs on the stem and under each leaf. Mile-a-Minute can be easily pulled off trees without damaging bark. Bundle up the vines, place the bundle in a plastic bag, and take the bags home to be put out for yard waste collection. Mile-a-Minute has so many seeds that leaving it on the ground, even if isolated from the tree, would defeat the purpose. These vines cut quite easily. As always, do not pull up any vines from the ground, as this could disturb soil and is not authorized by the County. Helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux5TPpRIcjk
  • Honeysuckle: Remove the vine from whatever it’s climbing on.  Pruning shears, secateurs, work well for Honeysuckle because the vine is usually thin. If you can’t get all of the vine off a tree, then just remove what you can. Bag the pieces and take home for yard waste collection. As always, do not pull roots from ground as this could disturb soil and is not authorized.  Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xckjhCK7iZU

Special rule for folks who adopted plots along Black Walnut Creek: You may not perform any vine removal, nor any forestry work at all, within 100 feet of the water.  This buffer zone is considered a special Habitat Protection Area.

Homemade Tick Repellent Recipe:

Ticks are very dangerous for both animals and humans. They carry pathogens that can cause various human diseases, such as Lyme disease, or other potentially deadly ones. Unfortunately, things are getting worse every year, thus it is important for you to know how to protect yourself, especially since summer is coming, and you will probably start hiking and enjoying time outside. If you want to learn more about homemade solutions, here are some tips. Repellent for your pets: In order to protect your beloved pets, add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Since ticks are known to dislike the taste and smell of vinegar, your pet will be protected by this common ingredient that everyone has in their homes. If you want to make sure that ticks are going to stay away for good, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil. Both of these contain sulfur, which is also known as a tick repellent. Furthermore, by mixing in some lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint, you will not only scare those ticks, but also prevent flea infestation. However, avoid spraying it close to the sensitive areas of your pet, such as the eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. For you and your family: Mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water, and pour everything in a spray bottle. In order to prevent smelling like vinegar, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. We recommend eucalyptus oil, since it has a soothing scent that also works as a tick repellent. On the other hand, you can always opt for peppermint and citrus oils, which have a stronger scent, also effective in preventing ticks. Spray the solution every four hours onto your clothing, skin, and hair, right before going outside. Share this if you think people should know how to protect themselves from the dangers of ticks.

See more at: http://www.goodshomedesign.com/summer-is-coming-keep-those-ticks-away/

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