Hickory Farms

Common Areas Committee Meeting Minutes

June 20, 2020

Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020 @ 10:30 AM

Location: Cotton Farm Rd. entrance of the Lower Commons

Attendees: Mr. & Mr. Stark, Claire Coleman, Chuck Steart, Mr. & Mrs. Cosgriff, Rich Dudley, Mr. & Mrs. Bernhardt, Mr. & Mrs Marshall


Meeting opened @ 10:30 AM (approximately)

Lower Commons Overview

Drainage Area Behind Lot #: 137A

  • Discussed reverse Christmas tree drain current condition (good) & soil conditions (poor).  This area often has free standing water in the grass area behind lot #: 137A and along both sides of the black asphalt path.
  • Lot owner #: 137A was in attendance and said the drainage has been improving with the past 2 years of aeration and seeding.  She is seeing a lot less freestanding water.
  • The following suggested fixes were provided: add French drain boxes, add a rain garden, plant a tree that loves water (willow) and amend the soil with sand to allow proper drainage.
  • Most cost-effective approach, since it is leaning heavily towards the soil conditions that are causing the issue, is to have a volunteer amend the soil with sand.

Farm House Island

  • Discussed & pointed out the vines and invasive trees that are growing in the island and should be removed.  Also the English ivy and Japanese stilt grass should be removed and new native ground cover should be selected.

Sledding Hill

  • Discussed how this hill is being made safer by removing a lot of the brush, so kids can easily sled during the wintertime.   Haybales is being used for bumpers and the green fence is for a dual purpose of “trying” to keep deer our and sledders from running over small trees.
  • The small trees & understory is taking off in this area and only needs a bit more groundcover.


  • Grass conditions are currently improving with the TruGreen treatments, as well as, the aeration and seeding and filling in the bare spots nicely.
  • There are a native andrenid bees that are active in the spring by the black path and sledding hill.  They are to be left alone, but neighbors should be cautioned in a newsletter during their active timeframe.

Main Island

  • Pointed out, showed and discussed why it is so important that we remove the vines.
  • Discussed the need to selectively clear young seedlings that are too close to one another.
  • Discussed the Tree of Heaven grove that is taking over behind lot #74 - #76. 
  • Showed what the Tree of Heaven looks like and its invasive tendencies and how it is on the top of the list of trees that need to be removed in Fairfax County.
  • Discussed that removal of the Tree of Heaven and invasive vines in the Main Island grove behind lot #74 - #76 would be most cost effective if done by a small forestry grinder.  This area would then need to be target sprayed with the most effective herbicide in Fall to remove Tree of Heaven seedlings from popping up (this tree is much like a locust – sends seedlings from its roots).
    • There was concern that it would look like the bamboo area to clear cut.
    • Lot #76 homeowners were in attendance and said that they would be happier to have the area thinned out of vines and invasive trees, as long as, new ones were planted.

The rest of the meeting was cut short, due to dark clouds, thunder and storm not too far away.


Closed meeting @ 11:30 AM (estimated – due to impending storm)

Next Meeting: TBD