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.