Brazilian Pepper Tree
Brazilian Pepper trees are highly invasive. They were brought to Florida in the 1890’s as ornamental shrubs and were called Florida Holly. According to the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, “When these large shrubs or trees infest an area, they advance like armies, overwhelming everything in their paths. They disrupt the interdependence of plants and animals crucial to their survival. Only the “invader” survives. Native plants and animals disappear.” Hundred Acre Hollows began with just a chain-link fence around it. Now, it is surrounded by Brazilian Pepper trees, and there are many growing in the basins. The trees grow in clumps that look like octopus arms reaching in every direction. They have red berries which the birds like to eat, so when the birds poop, there are more pepper trees. If you cut them down, they will re-grow. The stump must be painted with herbicide immediately. We need to cut down the trees in the basins and try to cut back and manage the trees around the perimeter.