DAlden  Apr.15.2020

This winter and spring the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct decided to move forward with vine removal by engaging a professional arborist since we determined that we could not rely on volunteers alone to make enough of a difference up and down the trail.  Successful fundraising efforts have fully supported this first initiative!  We obtained permission from the State Parks for Guy Pardee from Suburban Native, LLC to begin removing vines along the trail.  This is a report of what we hope will be the first of many contracts with Guy. 

We selected Irvington in order to continue the work begun by the volunteers in December especially since Guy assessed that there were many trees that he would be able to save in this area.   He worked 9 days in February and March.  The last day he returned to each site, took photos and did some touching up and clean up.  The last set of photos were all taken on March 12 and represents the “after” photos section by section.  Since Guy works alone, he was able and will be able to do this work during this period of required social distancing.  Comments and photos were furnished by Guy and edited by Diane Alden.


A vine from today's adventure on the Aqueduct. At first, I thought it was a small tree. Until I looked up and saw it wrapped in a tree crown. Estimated age 45-50 years.



It’s really hard to get good iPhone photos during winters dreary days. Everything is just variations of grey leaf litter and sticks.





A section of vines completed today near Sunnyside Lane. What you can’t see is that I went back into the unmanaged area along the stream. Cutting heavy wisteria crushing tree canopies some 4-5 inches in diameter.



A couple of after photos of today’s adventures, again dramatic photography is not my specialty.

The stretch from Lyndhurst to Sunnyside has been completed. I have also begun the area that runs through Columbia campus. Much of which is thick 3-5 in diameter vines. In this area I’ve gone beyond the 25-30’ from center of trail, it only made sense and will make a bigger impact. Perhaps a discussion with Columbia as the heaviest growth is along the obvious edges of their property.


A photo from today’s outing, a fun optical illusion. To the right of the big tree in the foreground is a smaller tree on the edge of the other side of the asphalt path. Well that’s actually a cut vine hanging down from the tree.



This is a spot just south of Fargo Lane. Apparently where volunteers had done the light cutting where they could easily reach, I cut further in to the tree’s base of larger vines.


Same as above




Today’s adventure. These attached photos are areas passing through Columbia. The second and third picture are a true before and after. Both these sites are where I had to remove the fallen and uprooted trees or portions of, to get at the vines that pulled these trees over.


These photos, From Section 1 through 5, were taken on March 12

Section 1

North of Lyndhurst

Tree on right dead; due to vine cover


Section 2

South of Lyndhurst to Sunnyside.

Pile of 6” cut vines

Section 3

Sunnyside to Main Street where volunteers were active
Area where Multi-flora rose was reduced to gain access to vines.



Section 4

South of Main Street
This is another section where the Multi-flora rose infestation was extremely heavy, so it had to be suppressed to gain access to heavy vine growth.



Section 5

Bordering Columbia University Property

Vines cut at shoulder height and at ground level.  This way future vines cannot use these, Rapunzel like, to climb back up.  This is a dramatic photo of a large vine  

This small tree or bush now has a chance to survive