V inemont Woods Triangle: First work session of 2020

D ixon Branch greenbelt.

D ixon Branch Greenbelt is a stretch of park land along C reekmere between Peavy and Easton. For around two decades, the E astwood Riparian committee of E astwood Neighborhood Association has shepherded this slice.

Under its care, the meadow grass has been allowed to grow and native grasses introduced. Slowly, invasives like privet are being removed from the creekside woods. A pollinator garden was installed.

Now that I and a few other area residents need volunteer hours to satisfy North Texas M aster N aturalist requirements, there’s been a new upsurge in energy.

We have two main focuses for 2020:

  • Increase native plants in the meadow. (See separate blog post.)
  • Rehabilitating the V inemont Woods Triangle.
Young roughleaf dogwood.

V inemont Woods is a section of trees that fronts C reekmere, separated from the riparian woods by a small open space called Hidden Meadow. The northern triangular tip was cleared of privet in an effort to maintain the health of a 100+ year old pecan. In the process, a small clump of roughleaf dogwood was revealed.

Volunteers returned to the V inemont Woods triangle to continue pushing back the privet, as well as bush honeysuckle. The project goal is to finish liberating the pecan tree, as well as two 75+ year old eastern red cedars.

First off was to remove a huge privet that prevented access to this section. Heavy-duty chainsawing ensued.


Revealed were the cedars (junipers) damaged by a lightning hit.


Trunks of the two cedars visible behind the workers.

Infesting the shade was a plethora of small privets, bush honeysuckle, and the obligatory eastern poison ivy. Most were cut and treated.

A small section of the problem. Die privet die! 

Revealed were many beneficial natives like cherry laurel (pictured below) and Eve’s necklace that has been languishing in the invasive overrun. 

Cherry laurel.
Live oak seedling from acorns tossed there years ago. The persistence of nature.

A huge pile of cut brush from an area scarcely bigger than a living room.

Naturalist down!

The author.

The E astwood Riparian and NTMN crew, happy after an industrious two-hour work session.

Afterward, beautyberry, coralberry, and snailseed vine berries were scattered in the shady area. The goal is to make this triangle particularly attractive to birds while ensuring better health for the esteemed large trees.

The queen pecan tree — long may she reign.