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Woodland Restoration Update April 2024

We celebrated VISTA’s 10th anniversary this month, by planting 3 loblolly bay trees.  Kindly donated by the Midnight circle of the Tampa Garden club, they’ll be a beautiful addition to the area near the bee hives.

On April 21, Ryan and Damon from Oyster River Ecology joined our volunteer session with USF Rotaract.   They shared their time and expertise as wetland ecologists, and bought much appreciated equipment, including chainsaws and hand saws.  They were quite helpful in cutting down Brazilian pepper on the berm by the southern fence and at the edges of the swamp.

Because of the dry month, we were able to clear and trim palms and other invasives that typically are standing in the water at the edge of the swamp.

Our new SweetBay magnolias, planted in a wet area, are already blooming.

Air potatoes are back! Last year, they were so dense that they were suffocating many elderberry trees, ferns, and small maples.  Then the air potato leaf beetle found them, eating the leaves until they were skeletonized, and basically nearly completely cleared the  woodland of these vines.    However, the beetles do not eat the underground tubers, so the vines are growing back this spring.  We’re crossing our fingers, but expect the beetles to reappear this summer and do their magic again.

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