One of the challenges is the thick barberry grows in clumps, and the sections that stuck up were tripping hazards. So we tried using the Pullerbear weed wrench to remove the clumps.
The weed wrench is a heavy steel bar with a jaw and fulcrum welded at the bottom. In theory, you clamp the jaws on the stem of what you want to pull out and then push down on the handle. In this case, because the barberry was cut low it was tough to get a good bite with the jaws without tearing the root ball up. Progress was slow.
After pulling most of the roots out we tried burning the rest with a weed torch.
Careful not to let the fire spread to the leaves, the torch seemed to work well. Most invasive species require multiple treatments, and barberry is susceptible to burning. Should bring a fire extinguisher or water bucket next time, don't want to start any California-scale brush fires.
Above is a section of the trail after pulling and burning. It's slow progress. Need to have teams of 2-3 people digging, pulling and burning next time. If we can get one person to loosen the root clump with a mattock, the another to rip it out with the Pullerbear, then somebody to burn the remaining roots, I think it would be more productive.
But we got out and made some progress. Thanks to Paul, Val, Jim & Terry for helping out. And thanks to Royal Bakery for the great doughnuts; a weekend special.
The next work party is at Lane Street in a week or so - check the work party page for further details. Come out and enjoy the Hawley Meadow along Means Brook in Huntington Center.