Last year at McMahon we faced an infestation of white sweet clover (melilotus alba) requiring multiple visits and much grief. This year the melilotus isn't so bad - it's Canada thistle that runs wild. Wow, dadgummit, as mom would say.
Joe hypothesizes that burning spurred the germination of thistle seed. Whatever happened, it's a mess. Fun facts about Canada thistle (from U of I Extension):
- One plant can produce 1,500 - 5,000 airborne seeds
- The seeds can be viable for 20 years or more
- That plant can also produce six meters of rhizomes in a year
- Canada thistle is listed as a noxious weed in 43 states, meaning its control is required by law
Paddock July 5
Cut-and-drop brush was the order of the day, with honeysuckle and euonymus the two primary targets. Working near 119th Street in the southeast corner, we encountered some oversized specimens of both - see the picture below for a monster honeysuckle tackled by Geri Rode and Lauren Russ. The ground beneath this one was almost barren, should do much better now that sunlight will reach it again.