Three Rivers Land Trust gets rid of invasive plants

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 7, 2019

On Aug. 8 and 9, Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) held workdays to help remove invasive Chinese privet from its Bittinger Property located in the Two Rivers Project area where the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers meet in Davie County.

TRLT was previously awarded a $1,000 grant from the North Carolina Native Plant Society’s B.W. Wells Stewardship Fund to assist with this work.

This fund was established in memory of Bertram W. Wells, 1884-1978, North Carolina’s pioneer botanist and ecologist and author of the classic book on North Carolina plant communities, “The Natural Gardens of North Carolina” (UNC Press). TRLT was able to buy three backpack sprayers using this grant that will be used to treat invasive plant species on other properties, as well.

The Bittinger Property is 370 acres and was bought to protect natural communities and conserve water quality. This property has a diversity of native plants and habitats. A floral inventory report done by Devin Rodgers on this property found 283 species in 194 genera and 80 families. At least 39 species were discovered that had not previously been recorded for Davie County.

The nonnative privet was removed from the banks of the Yadkin River. TRLT staff and volunteers cut down the privet and then sprayed the stumps with herbicide that will kill the shrubs.

“The chemical used to treat the nonnative privet was chosen such that it will not impact water quality in the sensitive bottomland habitat.” TRLT Conservation Lands Manager Cody Fulk says. “By directly coating the stumps of the shrubs, no other native vegetation will be harmed by the application. In addition, openings were created that will allow native vegetation to recover where it was previously shaded out by the privet.”

For more information on the North Carolina Native Plant Society please visit their website at

To learn more about this event or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust, contact Crystal Cockman, director of conservation, at 704-647-0302 or