Quack Grass Dominates Indian Spring

The Indian Springs is a lovely spot along the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail.  There are many springs in this area and they collect in a channel that feeds into the Scuppernong River just upstream from the bridge at the Marl Pits.  The springs were choked with water cress, which Lindsay and I pulled earlier this Spring.  Here are a couple of photos after we pulled the cress.

The shot below is of the area just below where Lindsay is standing above.  There is a nice bubbler in the “thumb” of this spring shown below, which is now completely choked with quack grass.

We noticed a grass exposed after we pulled the cress but did not attempt to identify it or remove it.   Well, it was quack grass and it quickly expanded to take over the entire spring area.

We manually pulled out the quack grass from the heart of the main spring since it was relatively easy to get the entire root structure out of this loose sand.

In the upper right of the picture below is the “thumb” referred to above, now completely choked with quack grass.

We reviewed the situation with Ron Kurowski and he recommended removing it.  DNR trail master Don Dane suggested spraying, as digging it all out would have required removing a lot of soil and really disturbing the area.  The root system of quack grass is very intense and it is not easy to dig out completely so we went to the last resort, spraying with herbicide.

Nobody wants to spray herbicide anywhere near water, especially a crystal clear and pure spring, but we felt we had no choice.  We sprayed the quack grass with AquaNeat, which is relatively safe for use in the water, and we’ll be documenting the results in a future post.

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