Tallow Trees

50,000 TALLOWS HAVE BEEN REMOVED AS OF 2014

New Seedling, easy to pull out – MUST get root

Facts:

  • The Nature Conservancy has designated Chinese Tallow as “one of the ten worst alien plant invaders in the U.S.
  • The Georgia Wildlife Federation call Chines Tallows “one of the greatest threats to habitat in South Georgia.”
  • And the USDA has written “Once established it is virtually impossible to eliminate by known methods”

 

In early 2007, the Tallow Tree Removal Project began, spearheaded by resident volunteer, Ann Fenstermacher, with the goal of controlling this Priority One Invasive non-native species which threatened the diversity of Skidaway Island’s maritime forest.  The project has grown from a handful of committed people to an estimated 1600 involved residents.

What started with the help of two boy scouts, and an education blitz about the issue, became and continues to be  a multi-pronged community-wide effort. The Tallow Terrors, under the leadership of Don McCulloch formed in 2009.  These 12-20 volunteers wield chainsaws and herbicide on Mondays, resting only for bird nesting season and extreme summer heat.

Ann Fenstermacher leads spring and fall work parties of “hack and squirters” who penetrate the woods, killing trees to die in place using hatchets (hack) and herbicide applicators (squirt).

In combination these efforts have rid the island of an estimated 40,000-50,000 tallows, with untold more trees removed by Club and Association maintenance staff and private residents, now alert and vigilant to presence of this invasive.

“The easiest time to remove a tallow is before it gets established,” as Ann often states, “and seedlings are easy to pull up.”  Each seed-producing tree killed prevents a potential 100,000 seeds from sprouting which, each in turn produce more seeds in only three years.  ”This is a fight to preserve the diverse beauty of this island,” she continued,  “and clearly, the community thinks it’s worth the fight…. one tree at a time”.

The Georgia Urban Forest Council selected Skidaway Audubon to receive the 2012 Outstanding Civic Organization Grand Award for the Chinese Tallow Tree Removal Project.

Skidaway Audubon provided financial support and a framework for community collaboration. That collaboration continues with the Landings Association, the Landings Club and Utilites Inc of Georgia, our water provider, as well as resident volunteers. The Tallow Terrors and the Hack and Squirters are still at it too.


 

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Tallow Terrors Remove 5,146 Chinese Tallows (as of July 31, 2012)

The Landings community has demonstrated a high degree of interest in controlling this invasive non-native species that is found everywhere on Skidaway Island and threatens the diversity of our environment. In the five years since the Chinese Tallow Tree Removal Project has been endorsed by Skidaway Audubon, we have gone from me and two Boy Scouts to over an estimated 1600 residents who have benefitted from or contributed to this effort. Community volunteers have mobilized under the leadership of Don McCulloch to form the Tallow Terrors (TTs), wielding chainsaws and loppers most every Monday since December of 2009, resting only for nesting season and the extreme heat of summer. In this year alone, they have almost doubled their impact of the first two years, removing 2,274 through July for a grand total of 5,146 Chinese Tallow trees killed and removed from The Landings. Read More


 

 Click Here to View the Tallow Tree Timeline & History – Through July 2012

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