Hasta La Vista to Honeysuckle!

 The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky takes on a non-native, invasive plant in the

Kentucky River Palisades

By: Ken Brooks, Preserve Monitor

For more than a decade, we have been working periodically to remove invasive bush honeysuckle from the Sally Brown, Crutcher and Wallace nature preserves located in the Kentucky River Palisades.  It is certainly not the only invasive. We have removed others including multi-flora rose, winter creeper and tree of heaven, for example. But it is the most visible and significant.

In the last two years, we have become more organized with regard to eradicating this invasive plant and are now in the midst of a three-pronged approach to its removal. For example, along the Crutcher Hiking Trail, we have:

  • Used a bobcat with a “grinder” to cut up the most dense stands;
  • Cut by hand and painted the stumps with poison;
  • Sprayed re-sprouts and new sprouts using backpack sprayers and poison.

Lots of folks have helped with this effort:

  • TNC staff;
  • Americorps staff;
  • Paid contractors;
  • Volunteers.

More time and effort has been contributed by volunteers than staff or contractors. These volunteers have included high school and university students, and other ongoing volunteers who regularly work on TNC projects. Some local corporations also allow employees to work on projects like this as part of their community support efforts.

Does this work make a difference? See for yourself!

The photos below were taken in late November when virtually the only green bushes are honeysuckle. The first photo shows an area along the trail cleared this year. The second shows an area not yet reached for eradication.

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Thanks to this work, we hope that you will enjoy open views as you hike the Crutcher trail this winter. and Next spring, we hope you will see lots of wild flowers and not so much honeysuckle. The trails are open daily year round dawn to dusk.

Want to help? If you are truly inspired, contact the office about volunteering. We can always use additional helpers on this ongoing and challenging effort. You can also make a donation to projects like this that help the Conservancy continue its important work here in Kentucky. Donate online or send a check to The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky, 114 Woodland Ave., Lexington, KY 40502. Contact Amanda Black at (859) 259-9655 Ext. 5012 or ablack@tnc.org with any questions.