Ecological Restoration on Long Island

Ecological restoration is not always glamorous work.  This beautiful red maple swamp was inadvertently overrun by silt and sediment when upland construction was washed away by a sudden deluge, effectively burying native red maples (Acer rubrum) and summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) in the process. 

To save this forest, our team at Spadefoot conducted a bucket relay of sorts, digging out the forest and carrying the wet sediment up a steep hill and out of the wetland.  
We also took great pleasure in freeing a number of native trees from certain death at the hands of the invasive vine—oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus). The Oriental Bittersweet grows as a vine that smothers plants and uproots trees due to its weight. It can easily climb trees up to 90 feet tall. In the Fall it produces a beautifully colorful fruit that some people clip and bring home due to it’s beauty. But they are unknowing of it’s devastating effects on nature and they have become an accomplice in it’s mission to take down native plants.

A beautiful red maple swamp in Smithtown, NY 

A vicious and common invasive vine—oriental bittersweet—strangling a native tree.  Birds spread this beast far and wide by eating the berries and pooping in the woods.  We take great pleasure in freeing native and productive vegetation from a near certain death at the hands of this vine. 

This stem of Summersweet was buried by more than a half foot of sediment. 

Watch your form Nick!  One of our field technicians digging out the forest—we started the task cold in 40 degree weather. Needless to say, we warmed up very quickly!