Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Last Days of Bush...

Honeysuckle!




Lonicera mackii
; L. morrowii L. tartarica L.; L. X bella are their official names, but we call them thugs!

Of course, they smell delicious. You know, they will forever remind me of long car rides, windows down and the breeze heavy with their sweet fragrance. Sigh.

But, let's not get too sentimental! They are flawed! Seriously flawed!


The Tennessee Exotic Pest Council considers Bush Honeysuckle to be a severe threat (Rank 1) to native vegetation. If you visit our local parks you can see it everywhere. Asian bush honeysuckles (Amur, Tartarian and Morrow's) generally range from the central Great Plains to southern New England and south to Tennessee and North Carolina. It's a serious problem for many states!

So What is the big deal?

Bush honeysuckle is a poster child for successful invasives! Common invasive species traits include:

~~It rapidly moves in an area and takes over, forming a dense shrub layer that crowds and shades out native species.

~~It alters the environment: Scientists suspect that bush honeysuckle produces an allelopathic chemical that suppresses the growth of surrounding vegetation.

~~It out competes native vegetation: Their leaves appear early in the spring and remain into late fall, giving bush honeysuckle a competitive advantage over native plants. It's even thought that their flowers are sweeter, thus attracting more pollinators then the native shrubs and flowers. Consequently, natives aren't able to set enough fruit.

~~Rapid reproduction and high dispersal ability: Look at the seeds one bush can produce! The fruit of bush honeysuckle are high in carbohydrates and birds love it. Over 20 different species of birds feed on it...spreading the seeds everywhere.
Beautiful in fruiting red~~too bad it is a bad, bad, plant!

Here's the rub
....their fruits are not the high fat-nutrient rich food that migratory birds need to make their long flights....that diet comes from the fruit of native plants. Plants that disappear when bush honeysuckle moves in and takes over a plant community.

More bad news for the birds... The very successful invasive bush honeysuckle creates a denser shade than native shrubs, thus reducing both plant diversity and nest sites for many forest interior species...resulting in a decline in the bird populations. It's a domino effect upon diversity!

My garden:

Here's my excuse story! A decade ago we decided to let the backyard grow up into a woodland. We began by only mowing where we wanted trails. We planted Maples, a Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virgincus), Redbuds/Cercis canadensis, Cornus florida/dogwood, Ilex opaca, Sweetgum (Liquidamber styraciflua), and several witch hazels. In time, native dogwoods planted themselves along with pioneer Red Cedars/Juniperus virginiana . We didn't mind at all. Then the honeysuckles arrived in greater numbers then I could remove (please read the story). Within a few years they exponentially increased by the hundreds.

Within the last several years, most of the native wildflowers that had been growing in the wayback disappeared...plants like False Garlic, Mayapple, Blue Eyed Grass, Trout Lily and Spring Beauties...all shaded out by the dense cover of the bush honeysuckle.

Last year came a very late freeze and the worst drought in my gardening experience. We lost the Cornus floridas, the witch hazels, the maples and the native ilex. The Red Cedars, rough leaved dogwoods and the Cercis all survived. Unfortunately, so did the bush honeysuckle. In fact, it thrived; quickly filling in the void left by the dying plants.

It is so past time for a change!

This week Aaron (the motorcycle riding, mountain climbing, skydiving arborist) and his crew will be here to begin the cleanup of the wayback backyard. The wayback is the wooded and wild area behind the Garden of Benign Neglect. The GOBN is the primary residence of Practically Perfect Pink Phlox

and you know I do keep the honeysuckle out of there!

I can't wait for the crew to arrive. I plan to be out there while they work...there are small trees ...Viburnum rufidulum/Rusty blackhaw back there and shrubs like Forestiera ligustrina/Glade privet...that they might not recognize. They could accidentally remove a few forsythia;-)

How can you tell a bush honeysuckle from a any number of other leafless shrubs? Bush honeysuckle has a hollow stem.

Spring ephemerals returned as if by magic when the brush was removed in the local parks. I'm crossing my fingers that they will pop back up once the dense shrub layer is gone! Spring will be even more exciting!

So here I am today...contemplating how to keep the wayback backyard a wooded area with paths and mystery....but control the honeysuckle.

I've some ideas, but I am certainly up for more!


The bug light in The Garden of Benign Neglect

I am so very glad you stopped by!

Gail

A problem cannot be solved with the same thinking that originally created the problem. Albert Einstein




TN exotic for more information!

88 comments:

  1. Poor you Gail, it is always difficult to get rid of these invasive plants - thank goodness I have never had a similar problem. Good luck and I look forward to all the plants, released from the darkness, flowering next spring. Thank you for sharing the story.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

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  2. Good luck with their removal. I expect you will spend next year patrolling the area looking for any new growth which makes an appearance.
    Horrible though they may be I can't help admire the survival instinct of such plants - If only they stayed where they belonged!

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  3. Knock wood we do not have your bush honeysuckle problem here, but we have lots of Lonicera japonica and it can also be a sweet smelling problem, but a problem none-the-less. Good luck, don't turn your back, and don't go on a long vacation next summer.

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  4. HA Gail, I gasped when I saw your title on Blotanical!!! I thought, oh no, she has done it now!!! You are a trickster, lady. No tears shed for the removal of that thug, we have him by the millions, neighbors Mae and Mickey PLANTED some along the fence years ago, food for the birds you know. They are everywhere here. I do battle constantly, thanks for the tip about the stem so it can be ID. I can imagine you out when the crew arrives, protecting things. They will just love that. HA again. But it must be done. There was a huge bush of this behind ferngully that went crazy after the large tree was cut down with the extra light. It was cut repeatedly, sprayed and covered with a double thickness of old pond liner. When checked to see if it was dead, there were leaves! It was weakened enough to dig it out. But the neighborhood is full of other large ones. A constant battle. Good luck and soldier on!
    Frances

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  5. Good luck with this first battle of removing it but also the continuing battle of keeping it out! It's amazing to me how fast invasives can overtake an area.

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  6. That bush honeysuckle is invasive here too. One showed up in my garden once. I let it grow for a few years and saw how it was acting so my DB dug it out. It was a horrific job. The roots were so deep and thick. It took him a long time and many tries to dig it out. I remember he dug all around it right before winter set in. He left the roots exposed all winter and it didn't bother it at all. It still leafed out during spring. Finally he had another go at it and got it out. I hope your crew has strong backs and powerful tools to help them.

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  7. I do hope all your spring bloomers return. I bet they will with a bit of time. The only way I can think to keep the honeysuckle from taking over again is to hand pull them since you don't cut that area. It would not be so bad if that is all you are pulling. Good luck!

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  8. SYlvia,

    Lucky you! It is terrible! You can't kill it easily. You have to poison it and still grub it out! These guys have a tool and they are going to dig, dig and dig!
    Good thing it rained!

    Is there some problem plant or two in your part of the world?

    Gail

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  9. Gail, Oh so much to comment on... firstly, a very good morning to you, hope you are enjoying some hot tea right now. The quote from Einstein could take up my entire space here going on a political rant but I will definitely not go there. I do love the quote and it applies across the board, however.

    Your wayback is much bigger than my back40 but I can feel your pain after dealing with the clearing process. I was right there making sure the crew didn't wack away at the native saw palmettos and they are obvious. So, yes, you must protect your keepers.

    The research you've provided here is so informative and pretty much describes so many invasives. That bit about out competing native vegetation by attracting with sweeter flowers is just so interesting. It was all interesting and I appreciate the time and effort you take to produce facts and share them.

    You are a gem, Gail. I'll be very happy for you when your crew is gone and your way back is cleared. It will take some diligence to keep it that way but I have a feeling you are up for the challenge.

    What a nice visit it was today (and always).
    Meems

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  10. easygardener,

    They are persistent and tenacious! Hallmarks of an invasive. It will be the never ending battle back there! My son who is an Ecological Biolgist...I have fascinating conversations about invasives!

    Gail

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  11. Les,

    Isn't that the truth! I have a difficult enough time leaving the garden during the growing season as it is!
    The L japanica is here, too, but not to the extent of bush honeysuckle. It does smell sweet, which is why folks are so tempted to add it to their gardens!

    I am glad you have escaped this scourge!

    Gail

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  12. Gail,

    You know I'm sitting here putting cuffs on my fingers to keep from punning away with the theme. As Meems said, I won't go there.

    I'm glad that you are getting control over your Wayback space. I can't believe all that you lost during the drought. How devastating!

    I look forward to seeing the results of the clearing. I'm sure it will be spectacular.

    Cameron

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  13. Frances,

    There will be no tears shed for bush honeysuckle...nor will I be able to totally eradicate it! I will still smell its sweet scent wafting over from the neighbors. The US Dept of Agriculture promoted many of the invasives that are here. They were a better food source or erosion control...you don't need the soap box lecture!

    I always think of them as some Hydra monster; isn't that one who is able to grow a new head when one is gut off? You have to go to such incredible links to kill them! H fulva (orange ditch lilies) are like that, too!

    Well Aaron won't be parachuting in today...it is raining again! Winter! Have a good day!

    Gail

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  14. Cindy,

    It will be the Battle for Clay and Limestone! I suspect there will continue to be guerilla forces setting up strongholds along the fences and tree limbs were the birds deposit them!

    I do hope you are invasives free in your garden!

    Gail

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  15. Lisa,

    Tenacious plants! You are lucky there was just that big one in the garden! They are next to impossible to remove, but these guys are under 30 and some are under 25! Isn't Lyrhrum a problem nearby? Talk about a beautiful nightmare!

    Gail

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  16. I remember the Hall's honeysuckle from when I lived in the south. Heavenly scent so think in the air you could almost see it.
    Marnie

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  17. I was so hoping the crew was already working, you too I'm sure! I don't know if we have the same honeysuckle as you, It just takes over the back woods like nobody's business. Looking forward to following the crew with you!!

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  18. Good Luck Gail. Honeysuckle is so pretty! Down south the wild honeysuckle vines run rampent. They use to grow so thick in my parent back yard, when I was little I would climb 30 or 35 feet up the pecan tree and jump. The vines would alway break my fall. LOL Looking back now I can't believe me and the boy next door would do something so dangerous. We never got hurt though.

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  19. Tina,

    I do too! They were a gift from nature and always looked perfect! When are you going to be in town again? Even tho the garden is into its brown phase..you can take the tour and I can mine you for ideas!

    If the rain would stop the biys could start the cleanup!

    Have a good day and fantastic weekend! Oh, it's only Thursday...I usually post on Fridays!

    Gail

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  20. That honeysuckle is everywhere. We have it along our fence line in the back mixed with what? Poison Ivy! I need to get back there and clean it up but down want to mess with Ms. Ivy. You'll have to keep on top of the weeding after the HS is cleared since it has probably reseeded itself several times over!

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  21. meems,

    Thank you dear! Your visits are always good and your kind comments touch me deeply!

    Aaron asked me to join them...since I know the trees and shrubs I want protected! Thought about climbing back there nd marking the trees but it has been raining for three days! It is winter in Nashville!

    Did you wear a hardhat? They will be working in the trees and I think that I will be required to wear one! Isn't that a funny image!

    Thank you for stopping by and bringing the sweet hostess gift of kind words. Gail

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  22. Cameron,

    You have dangled a big carrot in front of me and I must know what you would rant about! LOL.

    My neighborhood was hit pretty hard...we have very shallow soil sitting on limestone bedrock and many people lost beautiful 50+ year old magnolias along with maples. Magnolias are not native here but sure do look beautiful! I was just sick when I realized I lost the native witch hazels!

    Take care Cameron!

    Gail

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  23. Dave,

    I will have the HS forever! So will the south...it's like that beautiful Verbascum thapsis ...thousands of seeds that live for hundreds of years!

    You need a goat Dave...they aren't bothered by Ms Poison Ivy!

    Gail

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  24. Marnie,

    It is a wonderful scent in the air and I do love it! The other memory is taking the flowers and trying to get the nectar! Tasty, too!

    Gail

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  25. Darla,

    That would be the same honeysuckle...just don't let it in the garden! It's those birds they love it and carry the seeds everywhere! I will post photos of the guys...now if it would stop raining!

    Gail

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  26. Randy,

    I often wonder what happened to those little adventurers ...we weren't afraid to ride our bikes miles from home or climb trees and in your case jump out of them!

    I love our native honeysuckle but it never smells as sweet as the 'bad' stuff!

    Take care...

    Gail

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  27. I hope the rain will stop interfering with your plans to tame the wild wayback!

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  28. Cindy,

    Me too! But this is winter in the Central South,,,it has to make our soil sticky and gooey so that xeric plants suffer but the cedar Glades will come alive in late winter! We take the good with the bad!

    Gail

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  29. It's certainly a most efficient plant! Beautiful, but I can understand your need for removal.

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  30. You will be glad, glad, glad to have the work done. I'm excited (for you) at the prospect of having the area cleaned... even for just being able to walk around in it! Hopefully the natives will return.

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  31. Nancy,

    A little of it goes a long way! Knowledge changes how we see things and I can't look at them with any kind of enjoyment anymore! Gail

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  32. Shady,

    Now if it would stop raining we could get this show on the road...I do need them to trim the front trees so the city doesn't destroy them when they come through! I hope so too! Won't it be lovely...what native do you have in your woodlands?

    Gail

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  33. Hi again Gail. I am not sure when next I'll be in town. There is no meeting of the PPS this month. Next month though. I will attending them all since my school class is going to be on another day (yahoo as I hate missing meetings!) Anyhow, maybe we can plan on spring sometime for me to come visit? I'd really like to see it in its glory. You have a great day, and I think you have inspired me to take out the 4 honeysuckles I have growing. They look great in the spring, then fade so I am not such a big fan anyhow. But the robins really love the berries. That part I do enjoy. ttyl

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  34. Hi Gail.....Quite right said honeysuckle is not welcome. Non natives are bad when they are out of control.....especially if your wildflowers are suffering.....
    I wish I lived around the corner, how I love to have a go at thugs......

    Sorry you lost so many plants with the cold snap.....it is sad when we nurture and cherish and then lose our treasures......
    But you seem a positive woman, you will, I am sure restore the area and it will be better than ever......
    We are having a really cold snap at the moment....the ground is frozen, so working on my woodland is on hold at the moment........

    Have fun..........

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  35. Wow...I never knew honeysuckle could be so invasive. It always suprprises me when something as lovely and sweet scented is considred such a threat to native species. Good for you for taking care to rid your property of it. It makes me want to go deal with my English Ivy! Kim

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  36. Good luck with the removal, Gail. We have one clump of the japonica that we need to hack down, but otherwise we don't struggle too much with it--but I will miss the smell.

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  37. Invasive plants - as well as invasive animals - can be a real nuisance. In Sweden we have problems with a new kind of jelllyfish and a new kind of crab, as well as a giant cow-parsley.
    /Katarina

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  38. I don't have it on my property, thank goodness. I think we Southerners have a more difficult time with invasive plants because things grow so fast here.

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  39. I think I have been admiring this along the highways and byways. I'll no longer be enamored.
    Donna

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  40. That sounds like a lot of hard work ahead Gail!

    I look forward to your pictures in the Spring when all your disppeared plants come back as if by magic.

    Thanks for your comments yesterday on my Undecided post. I am considering joining a writer's group, but it's got to be the right one...

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  41. VP,

    Exactly, the wrong one could be horribly wrong~~ worse then a bad class! I was invited to join my friend's group but decided that blog writing was enough for me right now. I love your writing as it is, you have a voice and perspective that I find delightful.

    Gail

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  42. Donna,

    I don't look at them the same either and yes there is some sadness with it! Gail

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  43. Tina,

    I came home to a flock of robins...they were visiting some part of the cedar glade bd! Very interesting...maybe they were hiding in the grass or digging for worms in the wet soil!

    Spring it is!

    Gail

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  44. Isn't it exciting when we transform our gardens? I bet some of the plants went dormant and will return once light reaches the soil and wakes them back up.

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  45. Sounds as if you have your work cut out for you! I love the smell of honeysuckle on a soft summer's breeze. But, I certainly don't want it taking over the garden. I knew the wild kinds could be invasive but didn't know they smelled sweeter to attract more pollinators. Sneaky isn't it?

    Soon you will have your native species back in good form and the honeysuckle will just be a bad dream.

    Happy Holidays!

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  46. Yes, get rid of it! And I hope you can keep it away.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  47. Carol,

    Probably not but I can keep trying and it will be my new passion! Will the War on Honeysuckle replace PPPP in my affections! Gail

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  48. Beckie,

    It so smells good! Too bad it's a bad, bad plant bent on garden domination! I hope the native wildflowers will come back when a little light shines on them!

    How is the weather up there? Keep warm and cozy!

    gail

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  49. Cinj,

    Hey...we are crossing our fingers that they do? Gail

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  50. Phillip,

    How have you escaped this scourge? It is all over our parks...so terrible. I think the developer landscaped our neighborhood (1959) with bush honeysuckle, vinca and euonymous alata. It is everywhere! Our warm weather just invites these plants...plus they are cleverly adaptive!

    Did you get the cold rains and ice? Brr it is cold.

    Gail

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  51. Hi Gail,
    Ok, I really see your point about the honeysuckle now! Go after that thug, and clear it away from your spring stuff (there or to come).

    I didn't know about that allelopathic chemical, something good to know in case we ever get brave with this one. I wonder if it's similar to what black walnuts produce? Our neighbor across the street has 5 of them and wonders why nothing will grow anywhere near them. Yes, we've told him (over and over) ... I'd cut them down and sell the lumber (beautiful wood) if I were him. Add that to his use of clay as fill, and you get the picture about the garden we helped start for him....

    Then we wouldn't have walnuts coming up all over in our garden! Between those, the maples and the mulberries we spend way too much time weeding/digging up trees!

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  52. In a nutshell: life honeysucks and then you die. It's a thing! ;-)

    BTW Bush? Who?

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  53. YE,

    Hi there...Exactly what will happen to the invasive honeysuckle in this yard...I'll be asking myself, "Who/what/where was this shrub that I was so very bothered by?"~~

    Gail

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  54. Hi IVG,

    The honeysuckles are something else..quite the aggressive plant! Too bad your neighbor hasn't figured out that he has to take his walnut trees down! On the other hand they are expensive to remove! I know because I have this arborist and crew coming by as soon as the rain stops...maybe today!

    I noticed that Bradford Pear has been added to the invasive lists in some states...probably other trees have as well. Our most aggressive tree is hackberry!
    It's a never ending battle against weeds!

    Take care of yourself!

    gail

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  55. Cheryl,

    Hi... Aaron called and I am going to finally begin to see some changes! I want to to be smart about this ....and get all we can out...they will be here in an hour...photo opportunity!

    I am so in agreement with you Cheryl...native plants make sense, they feed our critters and they grow better in the garden.

    Have a good weekend!

    Gail

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  56. Katarina,

    Invasives are a big issue in oceans, seas, rivers and lakes...it is global. I can't imagine how it will all be 'fixed'. Is the Swedish gov't working hard on the problem?

    Gail

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  57. Kim/inadvertant,

    Very aggressive! Equally aggressive are euonymous fortunii/winter creeper, euonymous alata/burning bush and privet! Amazing that most of these plants are still sold at nurseries and big box garden centers.

    Good luck with the ivy! It is tenacious!

    Gail

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  58. Cosmo,

    It does have lovely fragrance! I wonder what else we can plant that is fragrant? Sometimes the native vining honeysuckle is fragrant and I grow Carolina jessamine. Can you?

    It is going out today...the crew is on their way! Story at 9 pm news!

    gail

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  59. Tina,

    Once the honeysuckle is out you will have a nice spot for a few good natives! Ninebark? Clethra? Calycanthus? Just a few suggestions!

    gail

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  60. Thanks for the warning. I have one plant in my back yard that I transplanted a couple times trying to find the right place. But after reading your post I don’t think there is a right place in my small city garden

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  61. Hi Gail!
    This is such a great post on invasive plants and this sounds very BAD! Producing allelopathic chemicals to boot! the Eucalyptus does that here, not native either. the Scotch broom is a real problem, too. Don't you just hate it when the things you want, like the cornus sp. die, and the bush honeysuckle lives! Hmmph!
    The wayback sounds wonderful. I love how you are creating a natural glade with plants that the migrating birds will like. You are creating such a natural haven.That is just wonderful.
    Very best regards,
    Philip

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  62. I can see you have a very mischievous streak, Gail. Wonderful post, and I did laugh to think of all the bloggers doing a double-take as they read it.

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  63. Honeysuckle is indeed a persistent customer. In fact, one lodged itself into a pyracantha and took it over!! I still hate buckthorn more, but that's only because that's what I have a lot, lot, lot, lot more of. (Did I mention i have quite a bit of it?)
    ~ Monica

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  64. My dear friends,

    So sorry to take all day to answer...I have been in the way back with the arborist! That is a job for young men and women! But I promise to have photos! I do hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

    Gail

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  65. Rusty,

    One equals many! Are you certain it's one of The Gang of Four (Halls, Morrow etc)...there is a native honeysuckle, too! But if your certain...;-)

    Gail

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  66. Victoria,

    I suspect you do, too! Just a few folks commented on the title! I was sure it would raise an eyebrow or two!
    So glad you liked the post and appreciate your visit! Take care~~ Gail

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  67. Phillip, Hi! Glad you liked the title and the post...It is, excuse me it was a wilderness back there...The first sweep has been accomplished...most of the honeysuckle is out...the way wayback is scheduled for next week! I do try Phillip to consider the ctitters in gardening and to that end plant natives but I do like a few exotics...tamed exotics!

    Thank you stopping by and commenting twice!

    Gail

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  68. Monica,

    I have heard that Buckthorn is a problem in some parts of the gardening world....there are way too many invasives and it is nearly impossible to stop them. Unless we find a way to stop them we will lose native species...Goodluck with the buckthorn! I am going to google it to see what it looks like! Have a good weekend.

    Gail

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  69. This made me so sad. I have really battled with weeds that came with my fresh horse poo. It was suppose to be a yr old. Crazy people tilled it in to my new beds--err. So I feel for you and your invasives. You know that others will not wish to be so aggressive and desire for the native plants.

    I look forward to seeing pics of your progress. I am going to try drenching my unsocial plants with full vinegar. Every day if I have to. I'll let you know if it works...I doubt it.

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  70. I can't wait to see the results of the clearing.

    In central NC it's Japanese Honeysuckle (although I confess it's my favorite fragrance in all the world), Wisteria and Chinese Privet that gives us fits.

    Love the title! (and dancing the happy dance)

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  71. Anna,

    Weeds are very invasive, too! It's quite a commitment to get a weed free garden....I do hope the vinegar works. That is one miracle product...it kills germs and reduces cholesterol, too!

    The honeysuckle is a forever project...like weeds!

    Have a good weekend! Gail

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  72. Sweetbay,

    I got pictures! We have those, too! They love the south! We have a fantastic white wisteria that the guys are going to trim (on their return visit). It would be wonderful in a garden if one could keep it in bounds!

    Confession...I love japanese honeysuckle's fragrance, too! As long as we're confessing...have you chanced upon winter blooming honeysuckle on a December day? Delightful and also an invasive!

    Happy dancing!

    Gail

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  73. Gail, I had no idea honeysuckle was invasive! But this is the bush variety, not the vine, right? I've always loved the smell of honeysuckle and have thought about planting a few vines here.

    Glad you clarified the names for me; I mistakenly thought you were having the GOBN cleaned up--I am happy to know it will survive.

    And I thought this was going to be about politics:)

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  74. Rose,

    We are so lucky to have a native honeysuckle vine~~ Lonicera sempervirens Common Names: coral honeysuckle or trumpet honeysuckle that replaces the invasive japanese vine (zone 4 to 10). We also have a native bush honeysuckle...but the name escapes me now! But non-native bush honeysuckles are quite aggressive and problematic for forest management (and garden management at Clay and Limestone). GOBN and mid way back and the way wayback are breathing easier now... I promise to post after photos next week!

    I know the title is quite an attention grabber! Is that cheating too much?

    Gail

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  75. Clever twist of words there Gail, lol. Can't wait to see how the back area looks minus the Honeysuckle. It is an invasive thing, we had it in TX where I grew up and it just took over!

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  76. Racquel,

    I just don't know what you mean..wink, wink;-).
    It looks odd...I can see the neighbors house and there are way more native trees then I imagined....the work isn't done but wow do I have a canvas with which to work! Can't wait to show you all! None in your yard? Do you miss Texas? Gail

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  77. Great post! I hope the honeysuckle is on its way out for good! And hopefully none of us will accidently adopt any in our yards!

    Marie

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  78. TileLady,

    Hello you! I won't ever be able to get rid of it all! We were driving to the store today and I was aware of how this plant has taken over every woodland edge and inserted itself into every hedge! It is sad to see it blanketing our forests. Enough about invasives! I hope you've been having a good time in your garden?

    Gail

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  79. Gail, your double entendre was not wasted on me:) Very clever! I noticed you left someone a comment re: burning bush being invasive. I haven't had that happen here at all. That is one shrub that has behaved very well, remained in its proper place & I haven't had to discipline it at all. It produces beautiful red leaves and berries in the fall and I can't say anything negative about it. Perhaps it's a difference in location and/or climate? Jan

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  80. I don't think we have that one here... plenty of the vine type though. And privet. (Such fun.)

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  81. It sounds like you have your work cut out for you, Gail. It reminds me of the kudzu that is taking over the south.

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  82. Good luck. :) I know that I have had terrible luck with invasives in the past so I wish you well.

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  83. Dear friends,

    Today was the comfort party for my girlfriends, so I am slow in getting back to folks! I will! Take care!

    Gail

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  84. Hi Gail. I'm still on a blog break but I had to pop over and check in with you. Chuckling at your post title ~ you are always so clever with those. Your arborist sounds very interesting, I must say. I can't wait to see a picture. I would be right there (hardhat if necessary) shadowing him too, just in case. I hope you will be successful getting rid of a lot of the honeysuckle. Looking forward to the next update.

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  85. Kathleen,

    Miss you and your fun posts...but so get the need for a break to get the holidays in order!

    It was funny...I didn't take near as many photos as I thought I might...I was totally distracted by cleaning up some of the mess myself! But I do have some!

    So very glad you popped over! Take care and have a wonderful Christmas!

    Gail

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  86. Lythrum, Thank you! They are a terrible hassle!


    Robin, Of my gosh...Kudzu might be worse! It is covering up the south!

    Rurality, We have the vine and privet, too! Yikes we are covered up in privet in the parks and well were ever bird transpoops a seed!

    Jan, Burning Bush is on the significant threat list here... The problem is birds eat the fruit and carry the seeds around. We can't stop all the assertive plants already out there...I am probably going to remove the Elaeagnus after all...it is on the severe invasives list. I just checked! Sigh!


    Thank you all for stopping by!

    Gail

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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