Major invasive removal work was done at several sites on the Holcomb Tree Trail at the beginning of April. For dozens of years, invasive plants like bittersweet, multiflora rose, and Japanese barberry took hold in the farm’s pastures on the east side of Simsbury Road after the farming operations there ceased. The annual mowing done by the Friends has helped to suppress these plants in the fields, but in the hedgerows and other places where mowing is not possible, these plants have grown up into the trees, encasing them with vines.
The Friends hired Ted D’Onofrio of TR Landworks to cut down and mulch all the invasives and damaged trees around the pond near the eastern edge of the fields. Ted also removed several trees that were overcome with vines along the hedgerow separating Still Field and Cedar Grove Field (see map), which now gives Tree Trail visitors a great view of the Holcomb Farm Main Campus with the farmhouse and barns—quintessential New England! The newly cleared area around the pond will be restored with native shrubs to promote a healthy habitat for the pond dwellers. Trees will also be sited nearby, and we will work to make sure that the pond still receives plenty of sunlight, as this particular pond attracts species that prefer warmer water temperatures.