Burning season off to early start in Lake County
Lake County Forest Preserve District crews burned 200 acres Tuesday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve just east of Wauconda, as officials are getting an early start to the 2017 controlled burn season due to the unseasonably warm and dry February weather.
Superintendent of Natural Resources Operations David Cassin says burning is the most efficient way to manage the restoration projects.
"Two hundred acres we can burn in a day, where mechanical removal of invasive species in that same 200-acre area could take us two to three months," Cassin said.
Burning makes native plants more robust, lengthens the growing season and is necessary for the seeds of some species to sprout, according to the district. Besides killing invasive woody species. controlled burns also are used to remove thatch from previous growing seasons, facilitate seeding and herbicide treatments, cycle nutrients back into the soil, and deter the early spring growth of cool-season, nonnative species.