|Date: ||Sun, 18 Mar 2001 08:51:33 -0500|
|Reply-To: ||Malcolm Hodges <malhodges@WEBTV.NET>|
|Sender: ||Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>|
|From: ||Malcolm Hodges <malhodges@WEBTV.NET>|
|Subject: ||Invasion of the cherry laurel|
|Content-Type: ||Text/Plain; Charset=US-ASCII|
To add a different twist to the cherry laurel discussion:
Cherry laurel (Prunus caroliniana), while native to parts of the
southeast, is not native to the Atlanta area (nor, I believe, to Georgia
at all). It is considered locally invasive to native plant communities
here, its seeds being readily dispersed by all the birds that survive
eating them. It can be fairly aggressive, crowding out native shrubs
and shading out the herb layer, creating dense, monospecific thickets.
If you have cherry laurel on your property, I recommend that you kill it
with an appropriately applied herbicide, and replace it with one of the
wonderful native shrubs and small trees, such as American holly (native
type), that birds love. You would be doing a favor to our local natural
systems by doing so.
When you visit a nursery that specializes in native plants, go armed
with a good field guide to make sure what you buy is native to the area
in which you live. This is especially true when creating native
plantings for birds, because they will often spread the seeds of what
you plant far and wide.
(wearing my hat as Conservation Ecologist of The Nature Conservancy of
Riverdale, Clayton Co., Ga.