Friends of ARNWR: Assabet Pulling Together

Name: Dave Lange  Organization: Assabet Pulling Together  Phone:

Site location:
Along winterberry way to the wetlands on Taylor Way in ARNWR

Basic property description:

ARNWR has a large wetland complex, small wetlands and vernal pools,and large forested areas. It also has 15 miles of trails. The land has a history of Native American settlement, agriculture, and was an army base.

Management area description:

Assabet Pulling together works to manage invasive populations across the refuge, but for the purpose of this case study, we have chosen to focus on the roadside area along Winterberry Way extending down Taylor way to the wetland area, as this has been the focus of efforts in the past year.

Acres in the management area: 7.2  Listed on EDDMaps? No

Habitat type: Abandoned lot/home site, Field/forest edge, Fields, Roadside edge, Upland/wetland edge

Was this Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR)? No

Initial Overall Invasive Distribution Description:

Dense patches along roadside mixed with native plants, generally thinning out as they extend into the forest.

Initial Overall Percent Cover of Invasives: 26 - 50%

Target species:

Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Black Swallowwort (Cynanchum louiseae syn: Cynanchum nigrum)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens L.)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Narrow-leaf Bittercress (Cardamine impatiens)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)  
Invasive Species
Initial Percent Cover
Wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius Maxim.)  

Management objectives:

Monitoring for EDRR, removing invasives (goals vary from eradication to control based on species and level of infestation), education of neighbors, and identification of areas recommended for chemical treatment.

Approximate project start date: April 1, 2014

Years this project has been ongoing:

Project summary:

From Spring to fall each year, volunteers come out each Saturday to work on manual control of invasives.

Control method: Manual

Disposal method: Brush Pile, Incineration, Bagging, Left on site

Detailed project timeline:

Invasives were mechanically controlled by volunteers each Saturday from March-early December. About 1200 hours were donated by volunteers in 2016.

Early March-early May: Winged euonymus
Late March-early May: Japanese Barberry
Late April: Celandine majus, Garlic Mustard
Early May-early July: Wild parsnips
Mid May- Early July: Narrowleaf bittercress
Mid May and Mid Sept: Japanese Honeysuckle
Late May: Star-of-Bethleham
Late May-late July: Black Swallowwort
Mid July: Porcelain berry
Late July-Mid October: Oriental Bittersweet
Late July-early Sept: Japanese hops
Late July-early Oct: Purple loosestrife
Mid-Sept: Spotted knapweed
Mid-Sept: Boston Ivy
Late October: Autumn Olive
Entire season: Glossy Buckthorn, Japanese knotweed, Japanese Stiltgrass, locust species, Multiflora Rose

Restoration summary:

In a small area along the road, volunteers planted natives with a focus on pollinator plants.

Funding sources: Friends of the Assabet contribute funds for tools and supplies

Final acres in management: 7.2

Open to the public: Yes

Able to Provide Tours: Yes

Success Rate:

Current Overall Percent Cover of Invasives: 6 - 25%

Comments / Takeaways

Caution against using paper bags for seeds which remain viable for long periods.
Monitor to catch invasives early
Brush grubber can prove a very useful tool for larger buckthorn, autumn olive, mulitflora rose, and locust species
Including a native planting component to the work allowed the group to engage and educate different volunteers than they had for invasive pulls.

Assabet pulling together has worked with manual control of many different invasive species and is a useful resource for anyone looking for methods of control that can engage volunteers.

Last Updated: May 6, 2014