will rest and defecate on. It’s particularly bad
on Canary Island date palms and Bermuda
palmettos. Interestingly, there are several umbrella trees in the middle of Pembroke Marsh
and they are completely safe as we cannot get
to them.” The “stinky” clerodendron, he says,
is an inland problem, as it likes sheltered,
disturbed areas and roadside verges.
So what can be done? Key is recognising these
invasives and not planting them in the first place.
But once they are established, they should be controlled and, wherever possible, removed. Of the four,
the balloon vine is the hardest to eradicate. According to
Wingate, what has complicated matters in Bermuda is that
balloon foliage was left at the Pembroke dump so that its seeds were in
the compost being given to gardeners all over Bermuda. Similarly, in
Tulo Valley, seeds were dropping from balloon vines festooned over its
tree canopy into pots growing other plants. That problem has, at least
temporarily, been resolved. Areas overgrown with weeds at the dump
were bulldozed, while balloon vines growing at Tulo Valley have been
eradicated. Balloon vines, says Wingate, “are easy to pull up, but there
are so many of them.” Whereas the morning glory has just a few thick
strands, all of the balloon vines are tough and substantial and every
seedling has equal potential for growth and therefore for growing up
into the canopy and out-shading the native trees.
According to Pettit, “One approach to culling the large leaf balloon
vine is to follow the trailing vines as close to the ground as possible,
Resources for maintaining our nature reserves have been over-
stretched and at present there are simply not enough volunteers. As
Wingate says, “A few people are aware of the dangers of invasive plants
but they are not enough.” But he is not without hope. “It took a four-
man crew to remove invasives from Nonsuch. If we had five people
working per acre of reserve land to cull invasives, we could control the
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