Tree Rescuers Volunteer Education Program

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Optional Zooms schedule

(The sessions will be recorded)

 

Tuesday, 12/7/21

  • 5-5:30pm - Introduction to the Tree Rescuer program

  • 5:30-6pm - Japanese Hops

 

Thursday 12/16/21, 5:30-6pm Winter ID

 

Tuesdays, 5:30-6pm

  • 1/11/22  - Mile-a-minute and Porcelain Berry

  • 2/8/22    - Multiflora Rose and Japanese Honeysuckle

  • 3/8/22    - Getting neighbors and volunteers to support your efforts

  • 4/12/22  - Kudzu, Akebia, Wisteria

  • 5/17/22  - Clematis

  • 6/14/22  - English Ivy and Wintercreeper

  • 7/12/22  - Oriental Bittersweet

Join our region-wide program of community volunteers
to help save our native trees from invasive non-native vines!
Please note: This is a public education program to inspire others to remove invasive vines (not to do it ourselves).
Here is how to help.
 
Spot trees at risk, in your neighborhood or any public area
  1. Obtain your packet which will include a name tag, stickers for volunteers, and brochures.

  2. Take a look at the information below to educate yourself about these vines.

  3. Systematically survey your community looking for 30+ foot tall trees at significant risk, preferably with a partner. Doing it with someone will be be fun (and safer) and make you seem more official. You can start in the winter with some plants like English Ivy and Wintercreeper. Please designate chunks of land to report, such as all the properties within a block or along a street or lining a cul-de-sac.

  4. Try to identify the vines if you can. If you can’t, don’t worry! It won’t always be possible, especially if you are viewing them from a distance.

  5. For trees on

    • Residential properties - drop off our brochure with the homeowner (or talk to them) to alert them to the problem. (Please be aware that it is illegal to put unstamped mail in mailboxes.) Consider sending out a letter or posting on local social media such as NextDoor.com before you go out to give people a heads up. The more publicity, the better!

    • Community association common land - start conversations with the Board about a plan of action.

    • Libraries, schools, businesses, etc - talk to the people in charge. Businesses are often renting and will direct you to the landlord.

    • Parks, right of ways, etc. - Send us the data and talk to us about possible engagement strategies. Do not trespass!

Reporting back
It’s important for us to figure out how big this problem is to allow our community leaders and elected officials to make an overall plan of action. So, for bonus points (and to avoid having people accidentally survey the same place twice):
  1. Keep a record of the addresses you have surveyed.

  2. Write down the boundaries of your survey area.

  3. Keep a tally of how many at-risk trees you find there.

  4. Estimate how many acres you surveyed. You can do that either by guessing or by using Google My Maps. Easy instructions are here.

  5. Submit the data on these forms:

Tools for community Tree Rescuers

Other ways to participate:
  • Help other communities that are in need of volunteers.
  • If you have experience in vine ID, help new volunteers develop their skills.
  • Considering following up in your neighborhood with letters or visits.
  • Report infestations of invasive plants on non-residential land via the EDDmapS app. It is very easy to use.
 
Keep it safe!
You should obviously stay on sidewalks and public areas, and stay out of train right-of-ways or any other dicey area.
Keep it neighborly!
Let people know that your are only there to help, not to police their properties or impose anything on them. It is normal for people to resist new ideas. Our goal is to gently introduce the concept of valuing native trees and controlling invasive plants, hoping that when people start to understand these basic points, they will gradually take an interest in creating habitat-friendly environments with more native plants. In any outreach campaign, you can expect 10% of the people to be interested, and 10% of those to take action. We want to make the ideas attractive and fun - and we definitely don't want to be confrontational! Be sensitive to how people may perceive you as you stare into their yard.
You might consider sending everyone a letter explaining what you are doing before you start dropping off brochures.
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What if you want to also help remove vines?

There are many organizations that need volunteers to do this. These groups are well set up to train you and ensure safety. Events take place year round and always need more help.

On your own property, you may mostly do what you like. (That could include hiring an invasives control company.) However, please be aware: if your property is in a Resource Protection Area (which basically means within 100 feet of a stream or wetland), you must first obtain a permit to remove any vegetation.

 

For instructions on controlling vines, check out these resources.

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Oriental Bittersweet vines

 
 

How to ID invasive vines (and one climbing shrub)

Click on each photo to go directly to the plant, or click here to view all the species.

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AT kudzu.jpg
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AT rose.jpg
AT bittersweet.jpg
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AT clematis.jpg
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