March 25, 2010

Invasive species hacked out of former DeKoven Woods

A fallen tree in the woods at the corner of Wisconsin and Dekoven avenues on Racine's near south side. A crew clearcut the woods' ground cover to control an invasive Asian bittersweet vine that had taken over the land. Lake Oaks senior living apartments are in the background.

A crew hacked out a large section of the former DeKoven Woods at the corner of DeKoven and Wisconsin avenues this week in an attempt to fight off an invasive vine that had swallowed the forest.

Asian bittersweet overwhelmed the wooded property, which is owned by the company that operates Lake Oaks senior living apartments, according to a local arborist. The vines, which likely originated in the yard of a nearby home, suffocated the mature native trees.

For tree-lovers, all is not lost. Property managers appear ready to take a more active role in managing the woods and controlling the invasive weed, which can lie dormant for decades. Management will include cutting back the Asian bittersweet for a few years, and eventually planting grass around mature trees. Regular mowing, tending to existing trees and planting new trees could nurse the property, which was basically a pile sticks, back to health within five to 10 years.


  1. The DNR is an invasive species.

  2. Is there some targeted herbicide to help? Manually doing this for a decade seems pretty involved and may ultimately be a losing battle.

  3. Tim the Shrubber3/25/2010 3:25 PM

    "The DNR is an invasive species."

    That comment would make sense, except that it doesn't.

    I assume it is supposed to be some sort of anti-government quip, but there is no relevant context in the post. Why the hell would you bring up the DNR when it is not mentioned in the post?


    "Manually doing this for a decade seems pretty involved and may ultimately be a losing battle."

    That is the problem with invasive species...once in they are very hard to get out.

  4. This appears to be the first action of King Obama health care in Racine. Fail to the chief!

  5. Tim the Shrubber3/25/2010 4:05 PM

    "This appears to be the first action of King Obama health care in Racine. Fail to the chief!"

    When Obama supporters read stuff like that that they are probably thinking "With enemies like that, who needs friends?"

    Irrational, irrelevant raving like that makes Obama look better, not worse. If you really want to effectively oppose the Obama adminstration try voicing you opposition rationally, respectfully, and only when relevant. Otherwise you are just helping the side you claim to oppose.

  6. Good its all overgrown and ugly in those woods anyway.

    Hope the city DPW did it with their shiny new tree chipper and truck.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. OK, I have what is probably a dumb question: Why is it former DeKoven Woods? Why isn't it still DeKoven Woods?

  9. I'm pretty sure it ceased to be DeKoven Woods when the developer bought the property, tore out most of the trees and built Lake Oaks. The city doesn't own this land.

    They do own DeKoven Woods along Grand Avenue. Through a volunteer's massive effort, invasive species are relatively under control.

  10. Tim the Shrubber3/25/2010 9:23 PM

    "Through a volunteer's massive effort, invasive species are relatively under control."

    That is cool.

  11. I've grubbed out buckthorn at the Chiwaukee Prairie and a number of other sites as a volunteer. I think it's fun. In fact, I think all landscape work is fun. I know...I'm nuts.

  12. Heather in Caledonia3/26/2010 11:08 AM

    I'm so glad to see someone working on that lot. I noticed it a few years ago. There's something about seeing vines taking trees down that makes my hands itch to swing an axe. :)

  13. Why are people getting rid of Asian bittersweet? It only came to this country for a better life with its family.

  14. I think it is STILL called DeKoven Woods. The property that Lake Oaks is on wasn't originally covered with woods, at least I don't think so. Dustin don't you live at DeKoven Center? Surely you could do more research on the topic.

    Also, has anyone noticed that all the dangerous invasive species all seem to start with the word "Asian"? Asian carp, asian beetles, and so forth. Are they all really from Asia or does someone just keep naming our invasive species that way?

  15. Actually Dustin IS wrong. Is still is the Dekoven Woods. The property was never originally a "woods" and the building of Lake Oaks had no effect on "Dekoven Woods".
    This is some pretty shoddy reporting actually.