Sudbury Valley Trustees Greenways Conservation Area

Name:  Laura Mattei

Organization: Sudbury Valley Trustees

Phone Number: 978-443-5588

Where is the site located?: 42.353726, -71.367138 accessible by end of Green Way, Wayland, MA

Property Overview: Greenways Conservation area is a 124 acre conservation and recreation area located on the Sudbury River in the town of Wayland. SVT owns 63 acres of this area. The site is a mix of wetlands, wet meadows, upland fields, mixed hardwood forest and white pine forest.

Management Site Description: The management area is a 7 acre field of sandy loam soils with an underlying high (18”-3’) water table which provides for wetland pockets amidst an upland matrix of grasses and fobs. Spotted with small depressions and rimmed by drainage ditches, it contains upland and wet meadow species. The dominant species were a mix of forage grasses, goldenrods, and ferns. The site also included field/forest edge border with white pine/mixed oak forest.

How many acres are in the management area: 7, later 8

Is it listed on EDDMapS?: No

Habitat Type: Upland/wetland edge, Field/forest edge, Wet meadow, Fields

Initial Invasive Distribution Description: The field was densely bordered by glossy buckthorn and multiflora rose. There were several large patches and scattered glossy buckthorn throughout the field, and there were also some patches of purple loosestrife, especially in the wetter, northeastern corner of the field. On a site walkthrough, a hybrid of multiflora rose and a cultivar were discovered scattered through the field, and a 30’by 30’patch of reed canary grass was discovered.

What this Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR)?: No

What were the target species? Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus), Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora), Reed Canary Grass

What was the initial percent cover of invasives?: 51-75%

What were the management objectives?: The main goal of this project was to improve and maintain breeding habitat for birds, butterflies, and other insects that utilize field and forest edges and increase native flora and pollinator diversity.

What was the approximate project start date?: 09/01/2005

Project Summary: Mechanical clearing and mowing was done on the field which was followed up by four years of herbicide treatment and native planting projects.

Control Method: Manual, Chemical

Disposal Method: Brush Pile, Left on site

Detailed Project Timeline:

Fall 2005- east half of field mowed and small section of edge invasives were cleared; mowed field and cleared edge of multiflora rose and buckthorn

Summer 2007- hired Northern Tree Inc. to clear perimeter of field ;  enlarged field to 8 acres

April 2012- site assessment
Reed canary grass- mowing
Loosestrife- Galerucella beetles are best, but not enough loosestrife, so cut tops
Glossy buckthorn and multiflora rose- cut and herbicide for 3 years

June 2012- mow field with tractor and brush hog- height at 8 inches

Summer 2012- butterfly and odonate survey-> NOT COMPLETED due to poor habitat conditions

Spring/Summer 2012- botanical inventory

Aug/Sept 2012- selective herbiciding
Backpack sprayers used to selectively treat glossy buckthorn and multiflora rose regrowth
Used 3% active ingredient solution of glyphosate herbicide formulated for wetlands with dye mixed in to track progress
In unmowed areas, volunteers and certified applicators cut and dabbed buckthorn with herbicide 25% concentration of Rodeo
Reed canary grass was basically eliminated by mowing

As of 2016:
Conducted three years of herbicide treatment, with a reduction in extent of invasive plants by about 85%
Half of field was treated year one, other half year 2, year three: spot treatment over 70% of field

Was there a restoration component?: Yes

Restoration summary (if applicable):

2015- Introduction of native plants, prepared two30’x 30’plots and planted 1,650 plants between the two
Laid down cardboard on plots to try to kill sensitive fern and other plants, but it did not work;  deer fences were installed around new plantings
Sensitive fern roots were persistent:  for one plot, we planted amidst the roots;  the second plot was rototilled which made planting much easier and greatly reduced the need for weeding.
Despite drought conditions, we had about an 85% survival rate for the new plants

Contractor hired for one day to selectively treat buckthorn regrowth in field
2 volunteer workdays to remove buckthorn manually from forest bordering field
Planted 400 native plants in one 20 x 25 ft plot with solarization method prior to planting and 200 plants in ten 4x4 ft plots.  In the smaller plots, we mowed the vegtation and then rototilled in April.
o Planting in mid-June.  In spite of drought, plant survival was excellent (over 85%).
SVT has a list of native plants that we used for anyone who would like to see that.

Funding Sources: MassWildlife Landowner Incentive Program's Wildlife Habitat Grant, NYANZA, River Stewardship Council, CISMA, NFWF

Final Acres in Management Area: 8

Percent Cover Invasives Year 1: 51-75%

Percent Cover Invasives Year 2: 26-50%

Percent Cover Invasives Year 3: 6-25%

Percent Cover Invasives Year 5: 6-25%

Percent Cover Invasives Year 10: N/A

Final Invasive Distribution Pattern: Still around edge and scattered throughout, but much reduced in the field overall.

Any comments or takeaways?

Control of invasives was incredibly resource intensive. In addition to mechanical clearing with large machinary around field edges, 8 days herbicide treatment were conducted over a four-year period. Although reduced by ~90%, future treatments will still probably be necessary

The process was very expensive, so don't do it unless you think your habitat is REALLY worth it.  We expect that we will need to do periodic spot treatments indefinitely because of abundant local seed source of the invasive plants.

For native plantings, recommend rototilling plots or using cardboard/mulch for a full year prior to planting. Solarization was also a successful method of preparing a plot.

Is your site open to the public?: Yes

Are you able to provide a tour?: Yes