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Goldenrod Removal at the Florida-Orchard Prairie

Posted by Alec McKay on July 25, 2021

The following email from John Marlin describes how to remove goldenrod at the Florida & Orchard Prairie and some motivation for doing so.


From: John Marlin
Date: Sun, Jul 25, 2021 at 1:51 PM
Subject: Perfect time to remove goldenrod at Florida Orchard
To: Illinois Master Naturalists


The big rain Saturday evening has left the soil in perfect condition for easily pulling tall goldenrod (see photo) at the Florida-Orchard prairie next to the UI president's house.  This is a great time for some independent action to get some hours.  Grasp the stem rather low (or several stems if you wish) and slowly pull straight up.  You may get lucky and also get 3 feet of rhizome.  Pulling the plants now just before they bloom weakens them greatly and prevents seed development.  You will often notice several stems in a circular pattern, get them all.  If you cannot carry plants away, toss them into the prairie individually.  If you cannot pull or bend over, just clip the stem 2 or 3 feet above ground level to weaken the plant and spur competitors.


During he past several years we have pulled many plants along the South and east edges and the first third of the center path, Concentrate on these areas and the first third of the central path.  (WE also worked on the North side -- including putting a drop of herbicide on cut stems).  This has paid off as the species diversity has improved in these areas.  We concentrate on pulling the tall goldenrod near more desirable species like Butterfly milkweed, Bee balm, Culver's root and others.  If you walk down the central path, notice how goldenrod dominates about a third of the way down.


There is parking in the UI lots at the Archives (Hort lab) off Orchard at the top of the Hill and at various times on Orchard street North of Florida.


This site along with others including Meadow Brook, Pollinatarium, Arboretum, Lincoln Ave. Residence, Red Oak rain garden, AND homeowner plantings allow bee and other pollinator populations a chance to expand and exchange genetic material.  Attached are a recent photo of the south side and an historical poster of FLOR in 2013.


MN's can get credit for this as part of the campus native plant projects. 


I sent this BCC to some people who helped in the past and may have some current interest.


John C. Marlin