Hardy Kiwi vine (Actinidia arguta) is one of the newest species to be reviewed by the Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group and listed as Likely Invasive. Hardy Kiwi vine can grow over 20-35 feet/year and forms dense mats of intertwining vines that can overwhelm other vegetation, including trees. The weight of the vines during the growing season in addition to snow and ice loading on the vines breaks down the tree canopy, creating "amphitheaters" of only kiwi vine. One of the largest known infestations in New England is found on two adjacent properties in Lenox, Massachusetts. Kennedy Park is a 360-acre property owned and managed by the Town of Lenox and Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is a 1,140-acre property owned and managed by MassAudubon. A large-scale control project was initiated through partnership of the Town of Lenox, MassAudubon and the Mass Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program in 2015 focusing treatment of 100 acres of patches of kiwi vine across 450 acres. Native Habitat Restoration will present the approach for control and Initial results from the treatment efforts as well as considerations for future management of this species.
Jessica Toro, Native Habitat Restoration
Jessica Toro is the co-owner of Native Habitat Restoration based in Stockbridge, Mass. She has designed and implemented many invasive control and restoration efforts over the past 18 years. Prior to starting Native Habitat Restoration, Jessica worked for 11 years at the Nature Conservancy as the Conservation Program Manager of the Berkshire Taconic Landscape. Both at The Nature Conservancy and at Native Habitat Restoration, Jessica designed the restoration of floodplain forests, woodlands, and riparian areas as well as specializing in projects to improve rare wetlands and critical habitat for federally listed species.