Recent News

Liberating Trees at Northeast Park

Charlottesville’s Northeast Park is a small greenspace with a big problem: lots of invasive vines. Mature trees are so entangled with English ivy, honeysuckle and oriental bittersweet that in many cases their ability to photosynthesize has been compromised. On January 18, as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, an intrepid CATS crew put a dint in this problem by clipping vines at the base of trees to free up their canopies. In time, the vines draping the trees will decay and fall away, but they will also grow back. CATS volunteers plan to return to the site, where there is much more work to do. The team included Kathy Nepote, Kay Flanagan, Holly Camp, JoAnn Dalley, Allen Ingling, Camille Wilson and Toine Wyckoff.

Pruning Project at Crozet Park

On a crisp, sunny day in mid-January, a team of CATS volunteers provided much-needed pruning and TLC to young trees and a handsome row of crape myrtles at Claudius Crozet Park. The pruners removed dead branches, lower limbs that obstructed vehicles and pedestrians, rubbing branches that were damaging tree bark and the vascular system it protects, and weakly attached sprouts and suckers. Led by Kathy Nepote, the work crew included Allen Ingling, Tim Maywalt, Toine Wyckoff, Pat Punch, Barbara White, Martha Orton, Robert Orton and Bill Sublette.

Battling a Persistent Invader

English ivy is the bane of healthy trees in our area. If allowed to get out of control, the invasive Hedera helix climbs up tree trunks, eventually overwhelming the canopy and blocking sunlight needed for photosynthesis. Heavily infested trees are also more susceptible to being blown down in windstorms.

Ivy-infested tree before trimming

On a chilly and breezy day in late December, a team of Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards—Kathy Nepote, JoAnn Dally, Kay Flanagan, Allen Ingling, Lilibet and Alan Coe, and their grandson Tam—continued an ongoing effort to remove English ivy from trees in the city’s Greenleaf Park.

The CATS were careful not to yank the ivy from the trunks, which can tear bark and injure the tree. Rather they clipped or sawed the vines at the base, leaving ivy on the trunk to decay.

After trimming. leaving the ivy to decay on the trunk

In time, of course, this persistent invader will creep back. Plus berries from mature vines will be spread by birds and other wildlife. Our volunteers will return to keep the ivy in check.