Spring is a special time in the Midwest where we shake off the weariness of winter and Mother Nature celebrates with a burst of color. Have you walked in the woods looking for spring wildflowers? Have you experienced the magic of Jack-in-the-Pulpit or carpets of Virginia Bluebells? Midwestern woodlands should be open so you can see through the trees. Birds forage from the tips of the branches to the ground layer covered with wildflowers and grasses.

However, invasive plants like European Buckthorn and Japanese Barberry are crowding out the native wildflowers that used to call our woodlands home. Spring clean-ups are one of the best ways to rid your property of invasives so that your wildflowers can grow freely. Hiring experts like our team for your spring clean-up will ensure that you have a healthy and happy woodland habitat that you can enjoy year-round.


Common Invasive Species in the Lake Forest Area

The aggressive growth of invasive species is smothering your native plants and harming the birds and animals that depend upon them. After 33 years in business, our experts have identified common invasives that lurk in the Lake Forest, IL area. After dealing with these species for over three decades, we have perfected our process to make sure that these plants don't continue to plague your land.

Some of the worst invasives include:

  • European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
  • Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
  • Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii, L. morrowii, L. tatartica, L. japonica)
  • Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
  • Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)
  • Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana)

Professional Spring Clean-Up Restoration Process

Restoring woodland starts with a restoration plan that evaluates the existing plant species and makes recommendations for removal or preservation. Next, an ecological contractor will map out the work and determine when restoration activities should take place to maximize their effectiveness. Our course of action depends on the time of year:

  • In winter and early spring, we cut brush and remove invasive trees. We spot-treat the cut ends to prevent them from growing back.
  • During the growing season, we selectively use herbicides on appropriate weeds or remove them by hand.
  • In the fall, we apply prescribed fire to knock back invasives and encourage native species.

By clearing the woods of invasives, we allow life-giving light to reach the ground so native wildflowers and grasses can bounce back. Our team also adds species back to create diversity that supports and promotes wildlife in your natural areas; we seed with custom blends and plant plugs appropriate to the type of woods and their soils.

Once the woodland has been restored to its natural beauty, maintaining it with regular stewardship is key to keeping it healthy. Most restoration and management companies like ours offer stewardship programs to help you maintain your woodlands and keep them healthy for years to come.


Are you ready to fight the invasives and bring back your wildflowers? Schedule your spring clean-up today.

Bright flowering plant with a bee landing on it near Lake Forest, IL.

At Pizzo & Associates, Ltd., we have been fighting invasives and protecting native plants in the Lake Forest, Barrington, and Naperville, IL areas since 1988. If your woodlands are being taken over by pesky invasives, don't go at it alone. You might spend a lot of time and energy only to have the invasives grow back. Instead, hire a professional team like ours to create an individualized plan for your property.

We see the entire process through, doing everything we can to ensure that your wildflowers are free to grow strong and healthy. Then, you can schedule our stewardship service weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly to maintain the health of your woodlands. Contact our team today at (815) 495-2300 to receive a quote for a spring clean-up restoration and stewardship.