80 new trees, shrubs, and grasses

80 new trees, shrubs, and grasses

On December 14th, the Riverine chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists, the James River Association, and the James River Park System collaborated on a restoration planting. A great group of community volunteers joined in the fun. 

“Many hands make light work” goes the old adage and enthusiastic volunteers proved  it when they quickly planted 80 native grasses, shrubs, and trees near the river at the Pony Pasture entrance.  We finished planting so early that we had time to continue removing the invasive Wintercreeper that previously engulfed this area.

So just how much wintercreeper came out of there? Approximately 2,500 pounds of leaves, vines, and roots (Thank you to JRPS Volunteer Coordinator Matt Mason for carting off all 46 bags and weighing the last big batch).

What species of native plants were planted? All plants selected naturally occur in our region (eastern Piedmont) and are well suited to riparian areas.

TREES                                                                                                               Chionanthus virginicus Fringe Tree                                                                         Magnolia virginiana  Sweetbay Magnolia

SHRUBS                                                                                                                 Callicarpa americana Beautyberry                                                                               Sambucus canadensis Elderberry                                                                                 Vaccinium corymobosum High Bush Blueberry                                                    Viburnum dentatum Southern Arrowwood                                                                Clethra alnifolia Sweetpepper Bush                                                                            Euonymous americanus Strawberry Bush or Hearts a’ Bustin’

 GRASSES                                                                                                        Chasmanthium latifolium River Oats or Inland Sea Oats                                        Elymus hystix Bottlebrush Grass

What are the sources of the native plants?  The trees came from Glen Allen Nursery while all shrubs and grasses got their start at  Garden Gate Landscape.

What comes next? Ongoing monitoring and invasive removal and hopefully a second planting of native ground cover plants in focus areas for early spring 2017.

Who’s this? Our Pony Pasture resident hawk (juvenile Red-Shouldered is consensus so far) who has kept a close watch on all the work and was present throughout the planting.

hawk close up
photo by volunteer Eileen DeCamp