Westford Invasive Species
The removal of many of the invasive species now found in Westford will help preserve the biodiversity, use and future welfare of our town. The Westford Conservation Trust Invasive Species Committee has set a goal to manage one particularly aggressive invasive called mile-a-minute (MAM) vine by manually pulling it out and disposing of it.
This committee is working in collaboration with SUASCO-CISMA (Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord (SuAsCo) watershed – Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) as part of the Early Detection program for this particular invasive plant. The trust is a principal partner of SUASCO-CISMA which has provided grant support for this project.
We have an excellent crew of dedicated volunteers, but we really need your help to augment their efforts. If you would like to participate in this program or would like to find out more about us and our invasives committee, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a Westford resident and are wondering if you have an invasive on or near you property, feel free to contact us for identification and/or advice on controlling it.
Summary of MAM management in Westford for 2017
This was the seventh year of this program. Our efforts have resulted in fewer plants germinating from prior years’ seed banks. 2016 was very dry and this may be the reason we pulled a total of less than 9 pounds of vines for the entire season. We typically alternate pulling at the two main sites (Grey Fox Lane and Laughton Farms) every two weeks. There are other sites that we also survey (Littleton/Westford line for example).
The board decided to continue our program for MAM management in Westford for 2017.
For the 2017 season, we conducted 7 MAM pulls at the Laughton Farms & Grey Fox Lane sites along with 1 pull at the Pilgrim Village Site. Total weight was 38.7 pounds of vines.
More MAM vines were noted at all locations than the previous year. Our theory is the heavy rains that occurred in the Spring of 2017 may have affected some of the existing MAM seed bank. Seeds can be viable in the soil for up to 6 years and can germinate at staggered intervals (NYIS.info)
We also noted that Japanese Hops were present in large quantity at the Laughton site toward the back of homes along Boxwood Rd Circle.
One pull was also done at the Littleton/Westford site near Acton.
We also pulled MAM at a new location near Westford Center. This will be surveyed by a homeowner there and several members of the invasives committee as needed for 2018.
Two main MAM sites were added to EDDMapS. Select the EDD logo then zoom in to Westford and click on either marker. You can click on the Record ID to see all the details.
Invasives Species Resources
Purdue MAM Fact Sheet
Ecological Landscaping Assoc.
Conn. Invasive Plant Working Group
New England Wildflower Society
Invasive Plant Alternatives
Mass. Invasive Plant Advisory Group
From the New England Wild Flower Society video series on invasive plants.