Eco Logic has been involved in the control of various invasive species at Crane Naval Depot since 2011. This project focused on the removal of callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) over a several year period. This tree is a highly invasive species of Asian origin that was introduced to the nursery trade in the early 60’s. various cultivars continue to be used in the landscape industry and in just a few decades this species has become a highly problematic invasive species, threatening native environments. The large amount of area needing infested at Crane was from a former nursery that had been on site. The area of focused attention was divided into four main parcels and staggered out for clearing over four years. Seventy-five acres were cleared in 2012, fifteen in 2013, ninety-six in 2014, and twenty-five in 2015.
Initial removal was mechanical clearing predominately completed with a Fecon forestry mower mounted to a rubber tracked skid loader. Chainsaws and brush cutters were used to cut stems in areas that were inaccessible or too large for machines. Other large individuals were treated utilizing a basal bark application. Initial herbicide applications were applied with motor driven tank sprayers. Data was collected for three consecutive years and from that data and general observation, it was clear that the most effective treatment method was mechanical and hand clearing during the dormant season followed by two foliar herbicide treatments during the following growing season, with minor basal bark application on larger stems. An 80-90% reduction in overall stem counts were seen in the monitored areas. This is an ongoing project that has seen a positive resurgence on native herbaceous vegetation, including various graminoids, milkweed species, woodland mints, purple fringed orchid, native thistles, downy lobelia, and the recruitment of desirable canopy species such as oak and hickory seedlings.