Project Portfolio: Handle with care

January 7, 2014 -  By

Eradicate invasive plant materials that have colonized this archeologically significant lighthouse space.

Florida’s Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is more than a local landmark. Its site is a Native American shell mound, thus no digging can take place without an archeologist present.

This is what Hobe Sound, Fla.-based Rood Landscape encountered firsthand when it was engaged to rid the property of a non-native Sansevieria colony. Project Manager Ron Vekeman, who is also an account executive and landscape designer for Rood, notes that the persistent nature of Sansevieria meant it had to be removed, but physical removal wasn’t really an option. Instead, the team opted to cut the plants at the root and apply an herbicide to each cut stem.

“Only a limited amount of chemical could be applied to the multitude of exotic plants per calendar year, and it needed to be reported on a weekly basis,” he says. “Added to that, we were on a rather tight timeline—right during our summer rainy season.”

Despite these limitations, the team was determined to make the job a success. When sufficient kill had taken place with the herbicide, an erosion control geo-grid fabric was applied on the steepest grade, at the north side of the lighthouse, to ensure soil cap stabilization. A coco fiber mat then was applied to hold the soil in place.

Into these strata, a new planting took place: A plant palette of approved native plants was chosen, each for its ability to withstand the proximity to the ocean. An irrigation system was applied within this soil cap. Irrigation work was done by Treasure Coast Irrigation, Rood’s sister company also based in Hobe Sound.

Today, the Sansevieria colony is but a memory—and the lighthouse continues to serve as a beacon of history for thousands of visitors each year.

Founded in 1946, Rood Landscape offers “concierge-style” landscape maintenance services, as well as design and installation for both residential and commercial customers.

Before removal. The north bank with the Sansevieria colony in full swing. Photo: Rood Landscape

Before removal. The north bank with the Sansevieria colony in full swing. Photo: Rood Landscape

Archeological dig. Any soil disturbance on the property had to be supervised by an archeologist. Photo: Rood Landscape

Archeological dig. Any soil disturbance on the property had to be supervised by an archeologist. Photo: Rood Landscape

Surgical procedure. Treating Sansevieria  using herbicide and wick. Photo: Rood Landscape

Surgical procedure. Treating Sansevieria
using herbicide and wick. Photo: Rood Landscape

On the grid. A grid was used for soil stabilization of the north bank. Photo: Rood Landscape

On the grid. A grid was used for soil stabilization of the north bank. Photo: Rood Landscape

Material world. Erosion control fabric was applied over the soil layer. Photo: Rood Landscape

Material world. Erosion control fabric was applied over the soil layer. Photo: Rood Landscape

A better place. The south bank today. Photo: Rood Landscape

A better place. The south bank today. Photo: Rood Landscape

LM Staff

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