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9/22/17- Privet Part II

By Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist

Shortly after I introduced you to privet and all of its repulsive qualities, AL.com echoed my thoughts. On September 17, an article was released on AL.com that really let everyone know just how serious it can be when an invasive species gets out of control. Thanks to Nancy Loewenstein, a former professor of mine at Auburn University, foresters and landowners have a better wealth of knowledge when it comes to privet. Here are the highlights!

23 million. That is the number of acres that are covered by forests in Alabama. 1 million. That is the number of acres that is covered by PRIVET in Alabama. That is unbelievable. Of all the beautiful, native vegetation that grows in Alabama, one million acres of it are choked down and outcompeted by one of the most undesirable invasive species. And it gets worse. Mrs. Loewenstein goes onto say that privet can remain dormant for many years and then BAM; it suddenly begins to grow when the native vegetation is disturbed. As I said before, invasive species are deadly to other native vegetation because they limit the growth of these plants, and ultimately suffocates them by forming thick, dense stands. On top of choking out native vegetation, it is also believed that privet is having a huge effect on bees native to Alabama. According to Mrs. Loewenstein, native bee populations thrive when privet is removed from a certain area. And not only bees; a variety of pollinators tend to flourish when privet is removed from their native habitat. As previously mentioned, it takes more than just one method of eradication to correctly remove the invasive species. If you just cut one above the stump, it can grow like a gray hair and produce ten more trees from that one stump. So it is best to use every method feasible to remove this species. Privet is here to stay unless mechanical and chemical efforts are taken!

It is safe to say that Alabama is eaten up with Privet and it is time to take charge as stewards of the outdoors. Please visit AL.com and read this article in its entirety. Mrs. Loewenstein is well versed in anything and everything that applies to Alabama’s forest and forest health, so I would take her advice to heart!

By: Meaghan English

My name is Meaghan English, a wildlife specialist with TrueSouth. I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Management and I have grown up with a passion for hunting. I knew from an early age that I was not only interested in the harvesting of wildlife, but I was also very interested in their biology and management. I decided that I not only wanted to be a wildlife enthusiast, I want to be an educated wildlife specialist. I will be using that grand education as a member of the TrueSouth team contributing wildlife blog articles!

My first hunting memory flashes back to when I was six or seven years old. Like any other Saturday during deer season, my dad had told my mom to get me ready because we were going hunting. Of course I was ecstatic! I was not ecstatic about the hair bow my mom made me wear with my camouflage (she wanted everyone to know I was in fact a fashionable girl). The entire way to Perdue Hill, Alabama, my dad told me that today would be the first day I would actually shoot my first deer and I knew I was ready. We pulled up to the camp, unloaded, and fed all the “camp cats”. Before we headed to our stand, I had spotted three kittens that I simply could not leave behind so I stuffed them in my jacket. After walking what seemed like five miles, we finally made it to the “Pressbox stand” (with my smuggled kittens) and sat down. Dad continuously pestered me to be quiet, but I wasn’t that worried about shooting a deer, I had kittens! Eventually, the sun began to sink behind the trees and a spike (without olfactory senses) entered the field. When it was safe to quietly move, dad handed me the gun and I handed him my three kittens. I slowly pulled the gun up and placed my cheek against the stock. Dad told me to breathe slowly and pull the trigger when I was ready. Sure enough, I pulled the trigger and the spike hit the ground. We high-fived, exchanged kittens again, and climbed down to see the kill. It certainly was not a wall hanger, but a huge chapter in my life was started that night. My dad and I still hunt together to this day and we practice quality deer management at all times.

My ultimate goal is to provide clients with a survey of flora and fauna that currently inhabit a specific tract of land and, if desired, how to properly manage that land for the species that are found there. All feedback is greatly appreciated and I look forward to working with you!

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