Invasive Plant Task Force - James River Park System

Buttermilk Trail West Study Area

Buttermilk Trail West Study Area Map

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Study area summary

The Buttermilk Trail West study area includes approximately 20.9 acres of park land and was divided into four smaller management units. The lead organization for the baseline study of this park section was the Friends of James River Park. The task force field team in this study area identified a total of 22 invasive plant species across all management units, including:

  • 12 species ranked with high invasiveness;
  • 8 species ranked with medium invasiveness; and,
  • 2 species ranked with low invasiveness.

Of the invasive tree species identified within Buttermilk Trail West study area, the highly invasive tree-of-heaven was observed to have the greatest abundance, with dominant infestations (ranging from 25 to 75 percent cover) noted in Management Unit 2a and 2b. Invasive species within the understory noted with a percent cover of 50 percent or higher (Cover Class 4 or 5) include Chinese privet, English ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, and common periwinkle (Vinca minor). Due to the abundance of these species, the overall percent cover of invasive plants in three of four management units (1b, 2a, and 2b) was greater than 75 percent (Cover Class 5).

In addition, observations regarding the native plant community were also recorded by the task force volunteers. Native tree species within the Buttermilk Trail West study area include red maple, American beech (Fagus grandifolia), river birch, tulip tree, American sycamore, black walnut, black willow, and box elder, among others. The understory also contains native shrubs such as spicebush, bladdernut, and fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus), as well as herbaceous plants including jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), wood nettle, pokeweed, and common milkweed. Native vines such as Virginia creeper, trumpet creeper, and poison ivy were also scattered in distribution within the Buttermilk Trail West study area.

ยป Phase One Baseline Study Data Summary (PDF)

Updates from the study area

None at this time.