Teasel towers over bird monitor Linda during a removal workday. Photo courtesy of Mary Lou.
On July 20, the FPDCC brought in the big guns: their contractor, Tallgrass Restoration, applied herbicide to teasel plants over the whole sedge meadow area. Within two weeks, much of the teasel was dying. Volunteers, including a local Boy Scout troop, continued to work to remove the dead stalks and to pull any new growth. Now that much of the teasel is gone, the meadow is already showing visible signs of recovery - some amazing wildflowers are emerging.
Teasel has a two-year life cycle, so the area will require continued work and monitoring. The plan going forward is to target the first-year growth of teasel (the low-to-the-ground rosette form) with herbicide this fall to preempt next spring's growth. By herbiciding in the fall, collateral damage to next spring's native plants is avoided. Linda and Dolph have obtained their herbicide operator and applicator licenses from the Illinois Department of Agriculture to help keep the program going (under the stewards' supervision, of course). The war on teasel is not yet won, but it's definitely moving ahead.