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Plant Patrol Picnic: Friday, October 20, 5:00 pm
Thursday, September 28, 2023
We invite Plant Patrol volunteers and their guests to join us for a picnic to show our appreciation for the hard work that you have done to improve Indiana County's green spaces. Or if you have registered as a volunteer but haven't yet signed up for a work event, this is an opportunity to meet everyone.
As you would expect from Plant Patrol, we will put you to work. But this will be fun work. Instead of pulling out invasive shrubs, you will be cooking your food over a wood fire at Ed Donley's property. Bring your own food or a dish to share, if you wish.
Get more information and sign up at https://www.plantpatrol.org/cgi-bin/picnic.pl.
September 24 Work Event at Yellow Creek
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
We canceled the September 9 work event around Dragonfly Pond at Yellow Creek State Park because of the threat of thunderstorms. We originally planned to pull invasive shrubs at Blue Spruce Park on September 24 and November 5. Instead, we will pull invasive shrubs at Yellow Creek on September 24 and at Blue Spruce on November 5.
Water Chestnut Removal Event Moved to August 19
Friday, August 11, 2023
We have to rescheduled the Plant Patrol water chestnut removal work event yet again to August 19, at 1:00. If you are available to help by kayak or from shore, please register.
Eliminating Tree-of-Heaven at White's Woods
Thursday, August 10, 2023
We have scheduled two work events to kill all of the Tree-of-Heaven in White's Woods. Tree-of-Heaven is a preferred host for Spotted Lanternfly. So we might be able to slow the lanternfly's spread into the Indiana County by eliminating some of the Tree-of-Heaven. We are scheduling these work events now before the females start laying their eggs in September. There are about 140 trunks distributed across two sites within the park. Based on the time that it took to treat the Tree-of-Heaven at the Indiana YMCA, we should be able to treat all 140 trunks with about 35 person-hours of work. Join us if you can.
Saturday, August 19, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Thursday, August 24, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Register at https://www.plantpatrol.org.
Date Change for Knotweed on Ghost Town Trail
Saturday, August 5, 2023
The weather forecast prevents us from spraying knotweed on Ghost Town Trail on Sunday evening, August 6. So we are moving the work event to Wednesday evening, August 9. Volunteers can start at 4:30 or 5:30 pm, whichever time works best for them. We will have a Plant Patrol organizer at the Heshbon parking lot at both times. If you are available and are comfortable spraying glyphosate herbicide, please sign up at
Date Change for Pine Ridge Park
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
We changed the date of Plant Patrol's Pine Ridge Park work event to Monday, August 14, 5:00-8:15 pm. We will spray with glyphosate the knotweed that we cut down in June. If you are comfortable spraying herbicide and can help out, see https://www.plantpatrol.org/cgi-bin/events.pl?action=description&EVENTID=19 for more details.
Reporting Tree-of-Heaven in Public Green Spaces
Monday, July 24, 2023
If you see Tree-of-Heaven growing in any Indiana County park, trail, or other public green space, please report its exact location to email@example.com. We will gather these observations, contact the land managers, and devise a plan to treat the trees, if possible. Tree-of-Heaven is invasive and a favored host of Spotted Lanternfly. The more Tree-of-Heaven we can eliminate this year, the better we can slow the advance of Spotted Lanterfly into Indiana County.
You can read more about Tree-of-Heaven, including how to identify it, at https://extension.psu.edu/tree-of-heaven.
Treating Japanese and Giant Knotweed
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Japanese Knotweed, Giant Knotweed, and the hybrid Bohemian Knotweed can grow to 10 feet tall and forms dense stands, crowding out all other plants except for large shrubs and trees, because it shades out other plants and it releases toxins to suppress the growth of other species. Its thick roots and rhizomes can extend up to 60 feet horizontally and six feet deep. So in large patches, the plants cannot be dug out. Once knotweed is fully established over wide areas, such as some stretches along the Conemaugh and Allegheny Rivers, it is laborious to eliminate.
In Indiana County there are public spaces were knotweed is just getting established and the patches are fortunately small. These are prime targets for treatment. With a manageable effort, we can have a huge impact on the future of native plants at these locations. This summer, we are targeting a section of Ghost Town Trail and an area in Pine Ridge Park. Both locations have an abundance of native wildflowers and other native plants that can fill in after we have eliminated the knotweed.
Our protocol is a two-step process. We cut the knotweed to the ground in June, so that later in the season we can use less spray on the smaller plants. At least six weeks later we return and spray the resprouted knotweed, which will only be one or two feet tall, with glyphosate herbicide. That late in the growing season, the plants' nutrients will be flowing back into its roots. The herbicide will be drawn into the knotweed roots and kill the plants. If you are available, please join us in this effort.
For a more detailed explanation, see Penn State Extension's publication on treating Japanese Knotweed along rights-of-way. https://plantscience.psu.edu/research/projects/vegetation-management/publications/roadside-vegetative-mangement-factsheets/5managing-knotweed-on-roadsides.