Evaluation - Demonstration Sites

Holiday Park

The Everglades Buffer Strip (EBS) is a one-third-mile wide swath of land in southwestern Broward County extending from I-75 (Alligator Alley) southward to Tamiami Trail (1,200 acres). This strip separates the urbanization on the east from the Everglades conservation areas (WCA 3) on the west.

The demonstration site is comprised of 105 acres dominated by melaleuca with scattered mature dahoon, wax myrtle, ferns, and sawgrass. Consistent with most reclaimed wetlands in the area, the soil at the site is primarily muck. Table 1 contains additional information on soil qualities and chemistry. The site is primarily dry except for short periods following intense rainfall. When averaging across the entire site, melaleuca occurs at a density of approximately 3,741 trees per acre. Tree sizes, when measured at breast height (dbh = 1.3 m), range from 0.2 to 52.9 cm, with an average diameter of 6.8 cm. Table 2 presents the size distribution of these trees.

Although melaleuca dominates the demonstration area, there are 58 other plant species occurring at the site. Nearly a third of the plant species occurring within the demonstration site are exotic including Schinus terebinthifolius, B idens pilosa, Casuarina equisetifolia, and Lygodium microphyllum (Table 3). However, there is a large proportion of native tree and shrub species as well as understory species at the site, which might facilitate re-vegetation efforts after removing the exotic plants. Table 3 contains a complete list of plant species.

Four conventional melaleuca control approaches are featured at the Holiday Park site:

  • using large machinery
  • felling trees and treating the stumps
  • hack and squirt
  • aerial applications of herbicides

The use of biological control is also emphasized, along with its integration of this approach with each of the other conventional control approaches. In addition, a smaller demonstration is available on the effectiveness of "off the shelf" herbicides that homeowners can purchase from local hardware and garden stores. You can find a detailed description of these approaches on the Holiday Park Demonstration Site page.

We monitor the efficacy of these control approaches by delineating multiple study plots in each treatment and measuring over time the melaleuca mortality, recruitment, and changes in plant species composition. With these measures of efficacy, coupled with the cost of each treatment, we compare the different approaches as to their suitability for large land owners and vegetation control specialists.

Holiday Park Site
Holiday Park

Holiday Park Information