Weed Wrenching by the tennis courts between Piney Branch and Wayne Ave.

Photos and text by Jim Anderson
December 2010

On Sunday morning, December 12, 2010, six students from the CIVICUS Living and Learning Program at the University of Maryland, College Park joined me to start removing bush honeysuckle in the woods next to the tennis courts between Piney Branch Road and Wayne Ave. The morning was cool with a light drizzle and the soil was wet. We were going to try a new tool, at least to us, the WEED WRENCH. Three medium sized Wrenches were borrowed from the MNCPPC Weed Warrior Program and the larger sized Wrench was obtained from MNCPPC Volunteer Officer. Using these tools, we were able to 'Wrench' or remove the shrub with roots from the soil. We normally remove shrub honeysuckle by cutting the stems, but it grows back in a few years and then we have to revisit those plants that regrew. It is anticipated, that there will not be much if any regrowth from the few remaining roots left in the soil after wrenching them out. We will see what happens from the pulled plants during the coming years.

We found that smaller, single stemmed plants were easier to remove than those large, multi-stemmed bushes. Some of these larger plants were well rooted plants and it took the whole Team several minutes to remove.

I thank the students, Mike Zick, Shiv Choudhury, Logan Taylor, Nick Meriwether, Gabe Garcia, and Colin Eddy for taking time from their studies to work. Final exams are just a few days away. I also thank Lorna Lucas, Coordinator of CIVICUS Living and Learning Program. FOSC look forward to working with these students and others from this program in the future.

At the beginning

Some team members worked up a sweat and had to remove their coats.

The "A Team" pulling a large-root shrub honeysuckle

Working on getting a shrub removed

After two hours of hard work. Place your mouse over the photo to compare before/after.