Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mulberry Be Gone

Like more and more Americans, the house next door was foreclosed and is now vacant. Several weeks ago I got permission to do some much needed landscaping. My motivations were mostly selfish: concern over property values, the desire to see fewer "for sale" signs in the neighborhood, invasive shrubs on the property line, and so forth.

The invasive shrubs were red mulberry, an introduced pest from Eurasia. They have a purple berry that stains feet, cars, and kids. It grows quickly along every fence where the mower does not reach. Within 10 years they can be 25' tall. I know because that was the height of the shrubs I cut today and I counted the rings.

Now the neighbor's yard looks larger, neater, is less an ecological hazard, and is no longer shading the veggie garden, the prairie plant nursery, or native shrub hedge that I planted this last year.

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