Eastwood Riparian stewards 10 acres of Dallas Parks and Recreation land in the Dixon Branch Greenbelt, between Peavy and Easton near E. Lake Highlands. Our focus will be along Creekmere between Overglen and Vinemont.
The Eastwood Forest Stewards group will tackle a belt of woods with great promise and a nice trail. Along a 120-yard stretch, four exceptional areas 10 to 20 yards long have been identified, including a grove of rusty blackhaw virburnum. The group will rehabilitate them one by one, and eventually connect them.
Project #1: rusty blackhaw virburnum (RBV) grove
There are nearly two dozen RBVs, from young ones just finger width to older ones 6 inches in diameter with cool alligator bark. They are struggling to survive an Amur honeysuckle infestation.
The RBVs are keeping company with some big chinkapin and Shumard oaks, several cedar elms, a few American elms, two old bois d’arcs, and one box elder, all from 40 to 80 years old. The understory has Eve’s necklace, cherry laurel, yaupon, and lots of inland sea oats.
Plans are to yank up the honeysuckle by the roots where we can, and cut and treat where we can’t. Then pocket in some tiny tree sprouts/saplings from local yards and overseed with Virginia wildrye to add some variety to the sea oats.
Project #2: mother hackberry
A favorite feature on the woods trail is an immense hackberry with a 14-foot circumference. Seems to be three hackberries merged. It is surrounded by cherry laurel. A songbird paradise.
It’s had some wind or possibly lightning damage, and some big limbs are on the ground or hanging from the tree. Fears are that if the park department sees the limbs they’ll want to cut the tree down.
The plan is to drag as many limbs as possible to a meadow inset and cut the rest as best we can. We’ll use the limbs to create an edge about five feet from the meadow tree line that will deflect mowers. Then will plant a bunch of acorn, pecan, and black walnut mast.
Project 3: native knoll
So much potential here! Aromatic sumac and stretchberry or elbow bush hold down the front facing the meadow. Just needs some Chinese privet whupping. The backside has a two-foot catalpa. It could all be stunning someday. This knoll is next to the main entry to the woods trial and creek, so it gets a lot of traffic.
Project #4: pecan alcove
A pecan with a 10-foot circumference shares its space with a eastern red cedar almost as large. Several large glossy-leaf privet have been removed. Just needs a little clean up, yanking out small Chinese privet and assorted saplings. It has great potential as a bird-nesting area or just a quiet place to sit.