C. Removing Invasive Species

Now that you have identified the invasive, non-native plants, these principles will help identify the areas to begin your restoration. 

  • Start your work in areas with the largest numbers of natives and the least amount of non-natives first.  The native plants in these areas will resume growth more quickly than areas that are densely covered in non-native plants.  It can take a number of seasons, depending on the density of the invasive plants, for native plants to emerge or move into areas that have been cleared of invasive species.
  • Ivy growing up trees should be given immediate attention, as this is the source of seed that birds will eat and spread.  Although ivy is not their first choice of food, birds will utilize it when natives food sources are not available. (link here on how to address ivy growing up trees)
  • Native plants such as ferns in the midst of deep infestations of non- native plants should be gently freed and uncovered.  The invasive plants should be pulled back at least one foot from the edge of the plant or cluster of plants. Be aware that these non-natives might be hiding fragile native species and begin to train your eyes to pick up subtle differences in leaf structures. 
  • As you encounter branches that hinder removing the invasive plants, move them temporarily but place them gently back onto the areas you have restored.  These branches will provide structure to the soil and absorb water during the rainy season providing moisture after the rains stop. (link here to weaving) 

The San Lorenzo Valley Native Habitat Restoration Program integrates environmental and community needs to restore the riparian habitat and ensure the ongoing health and beauty of the watershed.

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