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Friday, July 26, 2013

Teasel Cleanup Day

Today I worked in the Route 66 Weigh Station Prairie North of Litchfield to help remove Teasel.  Teasel is one of many invasive species in Illinois.  Invasive species are non-native plants that upset local ecosystems and choke out native plants.  We were clipping the teasel off close to the ground with hedge trimmers, lopping shears, and spades.  The crew leader, local naturalist Henry Eilers, has been using mechanical means to remove blooming teasel plants from the area for a number of years.  He is making good headway in at least keeping the species from over running the area.  Today a work crew of 6 was able to cut off all of the blooming Teasel plants in about an 8 acre area.  The land is owned by Illinois Department of Transportation, but managed Montgomery  County Natural Area Guardians.  IDOT did help by mowing some heavily infested areas.  They have also sprayed some area. If you have teasel blooming right now, mowing would also be in order if there is a lot of it.  Keep in mind to overlap if you are using a spin cut mower.  I think an old sickle type mower may be more effective if you still have one.  We plan to burn the area when it dries out this fall/winter.  After burning, the green rosettes will be exposed.  We  hope to spray the rosettes with 2-4D to kill them through the winter.  We think that Teasel is spread by mowing when it is mowed later in the season. 
Route 66 Weigh Station Prairie

Crew Leader Henry Eilers in the center

Teasel plant in the Center

Teasel Rosettes that will bloom next year if nothing is done. 

Uncontrolled teasel on a nearby roadside.

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