Natural News

Natural News

Staff Work Day at Cove Creek

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Friday, April 20, 2012

Teamwork always increases results! In late March, 11 ANHC staff members participated in an agency work day at Cove Creek Natural Area to tackle the problem of invasive plants in the forested habitat found at this Arkansas Valley natural area.

One staff work group dedicated its time to removing Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense), an invasive plant species imported from Asia and Europe in the 1800s. While this plant is valued as a traditional southern ornamental and can be easily found in just about any domestic landscape, it can actually cause many problems in Arkansas’s native ecosystems. Outside of its natural habitat, Chinese privet is known to be an aggressive and troublesome weed that forms dense thickets. These thickets out-compete native plants, potentially causing stress to native birds and mammals. During the work day, ANHC staff cleared Chinese privet from more than 1.5 acres of Cove Creek Natural Area.

Monitoring sites were established by another staff work group during the work day. These are simply areas within the thickets that have been marked and recorded. The sites will be monitored during future visits in order for ANHC staff to understand how the habitat reacts after the invasive plants have been removed. This will allow us to adapt our methods of removing Chinese privet based the information gathered.

Over the next two years, ANHC staff plans to continue reducing the amount of Chinese privet growing at the natural area. The plan calls for a variety of different removal methods, including hand pulling saplings, treating cut stumps with herbicide, applying herbicide to the plant’s leaves with backpack sprayers, and the use of a forestry mulcher. Controlled burns will also be used to keep Chinese privet at bay. This project is supported in part by the Arkansas Forestry Commission and the U.S. Forest Service.

If you are interested in learning more about invasive species, such as Chinese privet, and how to effectively remove them from the environment, please follow the links:,

Recent Posts