Sustainability Topics

Removing Invasive Vines

April was invasive plant, pest, and disease awareness month and a great time to remove invasives on your property. As part of our annual Crum Creek Clean-Up on April 29, volunteers continued our ongoing efforts to remove and control invasives in the Crum Woods.  Many large trees were liberated from the strangling vines of English ivy, naturalized wisteria, and Oriental bittersweet.  Home gardeners should attempt to remove these aggressive plants from their properties as well.

The large severed woody stem of the aggressive oriental bittersweet had a strangled hold on this tree. photo credit: R. Robert

Invasive vines compete with …

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Beautiful Biocontrol: The Scoliid Wasp

If, in late summer, you notice a cloud of wasps careening in arcs and figure eights across the surface of the grass, don’t be alarmed and don’t reach for the pesticides.  Celebrate these native beneficials that consume grub larvae and pollinate flowers! They are scoliid wasps– likely Scolia dubia or a close relative.


Although scoliid wasps may look intimidating when they congregate, they will only sting humans if severely harassed. Green June beetle and Japanese beetle grubs, on the other hand, have plenty to fear. A scoliid wasp stings a grub to paralyze it, lays an egg on its …

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Welcome Class of 2017!

Last week, Swarthmore College welcomed and oriented the class of 2017. During this orientation week, the Arboretum has traditionally offered first year students a houseplant to “green” their dorm room. Check out commentary on the benefits of greenery in your room.

First Year student shows off her new houseplant. photo credit: R. Robert

We also introduced the new students to the Crum Woods and the concepts of stewardship and conservation by having them plant over 320 trees and shrubs in the woods. Click here to read more about these educational experiences and the native plants which found homes. Our hope …

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