We took a walk in the woods yesterday to flag more buckthorn and honeysuckle to be cleared. It only takes a few minutes in the woods and I can start spotting the invasive brush in amongst the dogwoods and hazelnuts. The wildflowers in this area have responded well to the brush clearing that we've done previously so it's rewarding to spend some time up here. The next great sign of recovery will be to see the oaks starting to regenerate. We're getting some seedling oaks just outside the established woods, but so far none inside. We need some young'uns to start growing so there are replacements on hand for the older trees such as this one.
I love the resilience of the oaks. Several of the oaks up here have multiple trunks, indicating that they may have been cut down at some point and then resprouted. The tree in the next photo has three trunks. And if you look closely, you'll see a little orange fleck near the base of the tree. Another buckthorn slated for removal!
So I'll keep on flagging the invasives and keep checking the forest floor for more encouraging news in spring.