Invasive Plant Control in Warner Parks

November 2, 2020

Allée Complete, Up Next: Invasive Plants

With the restoration of the iconic Allée Steps complete, the It’s My Nature Campaign moves full speed ahead with another one of its priorities: the eradication of invasive plants choking out our native species.

Of our 3,200 acres - nearly 1,930 are in need of invasive plant management - and under the leadership of Invasive Plant Control, alongside Metro Parks and Recreation, and with the help of dedicated Pullin’ Party volunteers and campaign donors, we’re confident we will reach our goal to be #InvasiveFreeWP by 2027.

Holistic Approach, Ongoing Maintenance

As any gardener will tell you, the weeds never cease to rise, but what will be accomplished by 2027 is a manageable system of upkeep that becomes a regular part of the Parks’ maintenance routine, establishing a holistic approach to managing the natural resources of Warner Parks that will allow the long-term control of invasives to be much easier. Aside from the initial eradication and ongoing maintenance of Parks acreage, so too is public education critically important – for seeds disperse by wind and animals alike – and plant in neighboring soil. 

The pilot project included 30 acres around the Allée and the 1.6-mile loop, in addition to areas surrounding the Chickering Road entrance and portions of the Mossy Ridge Trail. We’ve cleared over 165 acres to date, and the plan moving forward is to push the boundaries of those areas to continue to expand the “clean zone.”

It’s quite amazing to see the forest through the trees and already witness the emergence and proliferation of native bushes, trees and flowers.  Some are exceedingly rare to an urban landscape, but have been noted in Davidson County and the Warner Parks. Others are common and have valuable benefits to the environment. 

The intention of the It’s My Nature campaign is to return Warner Parks to its original splendor, for the sake of all park users and all park inhabitants. To witness how beautiful it is already and to know the diversity of life waiting to burst forth from that forest floor… we’ll get there for you, and with you!

For after all, it’s Our Nature, Nashville.

Answer this call of Nature by making a donation, becoming a member, or volunteering at an upcoming Pullin' Party.

Shortlist of Native Species: Present and/or Soon to Proliferate

Tree Species

American Beech

Fagus grandifolia

The American Beech is one of the most majestic trees in the Warner Parks.  This is a sturdy tree with a wide-spreading crown and picturesque, drooping branches that often sweep the ground. Male and female flowers occur on separate trees and leaves turn an attractive golden bronze color in fall. Beechnuts are important wildlife foods, attracting squirrels, deer, raccoons and other mammals as well as birds and butterflies. 

Red Maple

Acer rubrum

One of the first species you might see growing in the newly cleaned understory is the Red Maple.  Red Maples can often be seen in the understory of the Warner Parks as they are able to grow in shaded conditions.  Buds, young twigs and flowers are reddish to bright red in color and the fall leaf color varies from yellow green to crimson. Red Maples attracts birds, bees and mammals. 

Sassafras

Sassafras albidum

While Sassafras will grow 30-60 feet in height it is often seen in the Warner Parks growing in the understory among Paw Paw and Spicebush.  Sassafras has inconspicuous greenish yellow flowers in small, drooping clusters in spring and blue-black fruits that mature in September.

This small to medium-sized tree that is one of the few large, berry-producing trees in eastern forests. Sassafras is excellent for fall color with an excellent display of yellow, purple and scarlet. All parts are spicy and aromatic and tree has historically had many medical and food uses. 

Sassafras fruits readily eaten by birds including woodpeckers and warblers and it attracts butterflies. 

Spicebush, Common Spicebush

Lindera benzoin

When walking along the Mossy Ridge or Warner Woods trails you may come across this deciduous, multi-stemmed, understory shrub.  Spicebush has showy, fragrant flowers and leaves that turn a clear yellow color in fall.  If you crush the leaves in your hands it gives off a fragrant smell. The female plants produce shiny oval fruits that turn red in fall and are consumed by birds. Spicebush attracts birds, butterflies and bees.

Pawpaw

Asimina triloba

Paw Paw is a small, upright, multi-trunked, understory tree. Paw Paw’s produce the largest edible fruits of any of the Warner Parks native plants and can attract a variety of wildlife, such as opossums, squirrels, raccoons, and birds. 


Warner Park Herbaceous Flowering Plants

After completing a bush honeysuckle treatment it may still take a few years for the successional species to fully establish, but this is a shortlist to look forward to!

Antennaria plantaginifolia (woman's tobacco)

Antennaria solitaria (singlehead pussytoes)

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Bidens frondosa (devil's beggartick)

Campanula americana (American bellflower)

Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)

Cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh)

Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty)

Clematis viorna (vasevine)

Clematis virginiana (devil's darning needles)

Commelina erecta (whitemouth dayflower)

Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)

Erigeron annuus (eastern daisy fleabane)

Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)

Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)

Euphorbia corollata (flowering spurge)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Galium spp (bedstraw)

Geum spp (avens)

Hedyotis spp (bluets)

Helianthus microcephalus (small woodland sunflower)

Impatiens spp (jewelweed)

Jeffersonia diphylla (twinleaf)

Lactuca floridana (woodland lettuce)

Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce)

Lobelia inflata (Indian-tobacco)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Menispermum canadense (common moonseed)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)

Oxalis spp (woodsorrell)

Penstemon digitalis (tall white beardtongue)

Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed)

Pilea pumila (Canadian clearweed)

Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple)

Potentilla recta (sulphur cinquefoil)

Ranunculus spp (buttercup)

Rudbeckia triloba (browneyed Susan)

Saxifraga virginiensis (early saxifrage)

Sedum pulchellum (widowscross)

Sedum ternatum (woodland stonecrop)

Silene virginica (fire pink)

Solidago spp (goldenrod)

Spigelia marilandica (woodland pinkroot)

Stellaria pubera (star chickweed)

Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)

Trillium spp (various trilliums)

Vicia caroliniana (Carolina vetch)

Viola spp (violet)

Virtual Field Trips Library

Invasive Plant Control in Warner Parks

November 2, 2020

Allée Complete, Up Next: Invasive Plants

With the restoration of the iconic Allée Steps complete, the It’s My Nature Campaign moves full speed ahead with another one of its priorities: the eradication of invasive plants choking out our native species.

Of our 3,200 acres - nearly 1,930 are in need of invasive plant management - and under the leadership of Invasive Plant Control, alongside Metro Parks and Recreation, and with the help of dedicated Pullin’ Party volunteers and campaign donors, we’re confident we will reach our goal to be #InvasiveFreeWP by 2027.

Holistic Approach, Ongoing Maintenance

As any gardener will tell you, the weeds never cease to rise, but what will be accomplished by 2027 is a manageable system of upkeep that becomes a regular part of the Parks’ maintenance routine, establishing a holistic approach to managing the natural resources of Warner Parks that will allow the long-term control of invasives to be much easier. Aside from the initial eradication and ongoing maintenance of Parks acreage, so too is public education critically important – for seeds disperse by wind and animals alike – and plant in neighboring soil. 

The pilot project included 30 acres around the Allée and the 1.6-mile loop, in addition to areas surrounding the Chickering Road entrance and portions of the Mossy Ridge Trail. We’ve cleared over 165 acres to date, and the plan moving forward is to push the boundaries of those areas to continue to expand the “clean zone.”

It’s quite amazing to see the forest through the trees and already witness the emergence and proliferation of native bushes, trees and flowers.  Some are exceedingly rare to an urban landscape, but have been noted in Davidson County and the Warner Parks. Others are common and have valuable benefits to the environment. 

The intention of the It’s My Nature campaign is to return Warner Parks to its original splendor, for the sake of all park users and all park inhabitants. To witness how beautiful it is already and to know the diversity of life waiting to burst forth from that forest floor… we’ll get there for you, and with you!

For after all, it’s Our Nature, Nashville.

Answer this call of Nature by making a donation, becoming a member, or volunteering at an upcoming Pullin' Party.

Shortlist of Native Species: Present and/or Soon to Proliferate

Tree Species

American Beech

Fagus grandifolia

The American Beech is one of the most majestic trees in the Warner Parks.  This is a sturdy tree with a wide-spreading crown and picturesque, drooping branches that often sweep the ground. Male and female flowers occur on separate trees and leaves turn an attractive golden bronze color in fall. Beechnuts are important wildlife foods, attracting squirrels, deer, raccoons and other mammals as well as birds and butterflies. 

Red Maple

Acer rubrum

One of the first species you might see growing in the newly cleaned understory is the Red Maple.  Red Maples can often be seen in the understory of the Warner Parks as they are able to grow in shaded conditions.  Buds, young twigs and flowers are reddish to bright red in color and the fall leaf color varies from yellow green to crimson. Red Maples attracts birds, bees and mammals. 

Sassafras

Sassafras albidum

While Sassafras will grow 30-60 feet in height it is often seen in the Warner Parks growing in the understory among Paw Paw and Spicebush.  Sassafras has inconspicuous greenish yellow flowers in small, drooping clusters in spring and blue-black fruits that mature in September.

This small to medium-sized tree that is one of the few large, berry-producing trees in eastern forests. Sassafras is excellent for fall color with an excellent display of yellow, purple and scarlet. All parts are spicy and aromatic and tree has historically had many medical and food uses. 

Sassafras fruits readily eaten by birds including woodpeckers and warblers and it attracts butterflies. 

Spicebush, Common Spicebush

Lindera benzoin

When walking along the Mossy Ridge or Warner Woods trails you may come across this deciduous, multi-stemmed, understory shrub.  Spicebush has showy, fragrant flowers and leaves that turn a clear yellow color in fall.  If you crush the leaves in your hands it gives off a fragrant smell. The female plants produce shiny oval fruits that turn red in fall and are consumed by birds. Spicebush attracts birds, butterflies and bees.

Pawpaw

Asimina triloba

Paw Paw is a small, upright, multi-trunked, understory tree. Paw Paw’s produce the largest edible fruits of any of the Warner Parks native plants and can attract a variety of wildlife, such as opossums, squirrels, raccoons, and birds. 


Warner Park Herbaceous Flowering Plants

After completing a bush honeysuckle treatment it may still take a few years for the successional species to fully establish, but this is a shortlist to look forward to!

Antennaria plantaginifolia (woman's tobacco)

Antennaria solitaria (singlehead pussytoes)

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Bidens frondosa (devil's beggartick)

Campanula americana (American bellflower)

Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)

Cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh)

Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty)

Clematis viorna (vasevine)

Clematis virginiana (devil's darning needles)

Commelina erecta (whitemouth dayflower)

Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)

Erigeron annuus (eastern daisy fleabane)

Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)

Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)

Euphorbia corollata (flowering spurge)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Galium spp (bedstraw)

Geum spp (avens)

Hedyotis spp (bluets)

Helianthus microcephalus (small woodland sunflower)

Impatiens spp (jewelweed)

Jeffersonia diphylla (twinleaf)

Lactuca floridana (woodland lettuce)

Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce)

Lobelia inflata (Indian-tobacco)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Menispermum canadense (common moonseed)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)

Oxalis spp (woodsorrell)

Penstemon digitalis (tall white beardtongue)

Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed)

Pilea pumila (Canadian clearweed)

Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple)

Potentilla recta (sulphur cinquefoil)

Ranunculus spp (buttercup)

Rudbeckia triloba (browneyed Susan)

Saxifraga virginiensis (early saxifrage)

Sedum pulchellum (widowscross)

Sedum ternatum (woodland stonecrop)

Silene virginica (fire pink)

Solidago spp (goldenrod)

Spigelia marilandica (woodland pinkroot)

Stellaria pubera (star chickweed)

Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)

Trillium spp (various trilliums)

Vicia caroliniana (Carolina vetch)

Viola spp (violet)

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