PAC begins work on Town of Tryon Kudzu Eradication Project

Published 8:44 am Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On Jan. 24, volunteers from PAC and the Gillette Woods Association “Irregulars,” (from left to right) Alan Leonard, Austin Chapman, Ken Weitzen, Joe Habenicht, Jim Schaefer, Dave Mullen and Steve King met to cut down large Chinese Privet shrubs and other non-native and invasive species that have taken over the 2-acre Town of Tryon site. (photo submitted by Pam Torlina)

The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) recently received a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation Unrestricted Fund – Kudzu Eradication Initiative, for Kudzu eradication on the 2-acre Town of Tryon lot near IGA. The grant will fund the use of goats on the site, twice a year, for three years.

In preparation for the arrival of the goats sometime in June, PAC began preliminary work at the site on Jan. 24. A group of volunteers from PAC and the Gillette Woods Association “Irregulars,” Steve King, Dave Mullen, Ken Weitzen, Austin Chapman, Joe Habenicht, Alan Leonard and Jim Schaefer, joined PAC’s Land Protection Specialist Pam Torlina, to cut down large Chinese Privet shrubs that have taken over the site.

“Although the goats will eat Privet, it has gotten so tall that the goats will only be able to reach part way up the shrub, and the tops of the Privet will continue to photosynthesize, feeding the roots, and allowing the plants to persist.  We hope that by cutting down the Privet, the goats will eat the new growth that will sprout up from the stumps, ultimately starving the plant,” said Torlina.

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The crew also cut numerous Kudzu vines, many of which are climbing up the large trees on the site and out of reach of the goats.  Other non-native and invasive plants that were cut back on the site include Multiflora Rose, Japanese Honeysuckle and Tree of Heaven. The group also started hauling away trash that has accumulated on the site.