Clearing invasive species from capital beltway

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A two million dollar State Highway Administration project is underway, and you may start to notice the effects.

The brownish foliage is a good sign along the capital beltway in Montgomery County, as the SHA is working to eliminate a number of invasive species.

The SHA says two fast-growing vines called Porcelain Berry and Kudzu are a threat to Maryland meadows, pollinators, and drivers.

The vines can kill a tree, causing it to fall into the road, or grow thick enough to interfere with drivers’ vision.

“A lot of folks will start to see the browning of the leaves,” said Charlie Gischlar, SHA spokesperson.  “What happens is we treat the plant with herbicide in a targeted fashion.  It’s not harmful to any animal like bees, or butterflies, or birds.  Or, we go in and just cut it by the base root, and then it turns brown and it nature takes over.”

Weather permitting, the project will be completed in the fall of 2018.

Crews will follow-up the project by planting native trees and ground-cover plants.

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