Woody Plant Removal

Ken Brunson photo

Invasive woody plants, such as eastern redcedar and mesquite, reduce the quality and extent of prairie habitat for livestock and wildlife.

Invasive mesquite in New Mexico is piled after mechanical removal by a Trackhoe.

Invasive mesquite in New Mexico is piled after mechanical removal by a Trackhoe.

What’s more, they give lesser prairie-chicken predators places to hide and perch.

Native prairie grasses and forbs (and certain fire-adapted prairie shrubs like shinnery oak) maintain much of their biomass below ground, in extensive root systems. As a result, these plants quickly send up new shoots after a fire sweeps through. In the absence of fire, woody plants have invaded many prairie grasslands.

With LPCI financial and technical support, ranchers can remove invasive woody species using mechanical and chemical methods, and utilize prescribed fire for control.