While the tree guys were dealing with the elm, maple, and spruce, Lisa and I were tearing out the Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) plants that acted as a screen at the top of the wall west of the back porch (and had spread widely around the yard).
Not only are berberis thunbergii covered with vicious thorns, they are also reported to harbor deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) infected by Lyme disease bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi). It was time for the barberries to go.
We started by cutting all the branches down to the ground (long sleeves and gloves required).
Then I spent a day digging out as much of the roots as I could.
These plants have been in place a long time, and their roots are deep and firm. We’ll have to be alert from now on and cut off any new growth before it can take over again.