Chinese privet is a major invasive shrub within riparian zones throughout the southeastern United States. We removed privet shrubs from four riparian forests in October 2005 with a Gyrotrac® mulching machine or by hand-felling with chainsaws and machetes to determine how well these treatments controlled privet and how they affected plant community recovery. One year after shrub removal a foliar application of 2% glyphosate was applied to privet remaining in the herbaceous layer. Three “desired-future-condition” plots were also measured to assess how well treatments shifted plant communities toward a desirable outcome. Both methods completely removed privet from the shrub layer without reducing nonprivet shrub cover and diversity below levels on the untreated control plots. Nonprivet plant cover on the mulched plots was > 60% by 2007, similar to the desired-future-condition plots and higher than the hand-felling plots. Both treatments resulted in higher nonprivet plant cover than the untreated controls. Ordination showed that after 2 yr privet removal plots were tightly grouped, suggesting that the two removal techniques resulted in the same plant communities, which were distinctly different from both the untreated controls and the desired-future-condition. Both treatments created open streamside forests usable for recreation and other human activities. However, much longer periods of time or active management of the understory plant communities, or both, will be required to change the forests to typical mature forest plant communities.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate; Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense Lour.