Sabal Palm Road
The Belle Meade site consists of a large scale implementation of biological control on 40 acres. The land is owned and managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Forestry. Originally, this site was a pine flatwoods that was invaded by melaleuca. Fire raged through and resulted in a carpet of melaleuca. Hand crews came through and removed only large, reproductive trees, leaving the saplings and seedlings for the insects. Biological control agents are attacking plants and keeping the trees from growing and reproducing. This site is used primarily for research but occasionally is included in tours to show impacts of biological agents on melaleuca trees and stump regrowth.
Workers treated the stumps of the cut trees described below to prevent them from regrowing.
In 2002, workers cut all melaleuca trees larger than four inches in diameter. The remaining trees were left for use as a biological control treatment plot.
Biological Control Treatments
In collaboration with the Picyunne Strand State Forest and Florida Department of Environmental Protection, we have redistributed 60,000 biological control agents to this site over a two-year period beginning in 2002. This has led to dramatic impacts on the melaleuca population and allowed land managers to divert their limited funds to other locations and other species.