Invasive plants are defined as those that are nonnative and cause harm to the economy, environment or human health. These plants are highly adaptable, quick growers, and difficult to eradicate.Â Although there are many invasive plants to watch out for, below are several that are frequently seen in the landscape.
Privets (Japanese, Border, Chinese and Common), Ligustrum genusÂ
These invasive shrubs mainly spread through seed, often distributed by birds which have eaten the fruit. Once established the shrub will colonize the area, forming dense thickets which choke out any native species that would otherwise occupy the area.Â What makes the Ligustrum species difficult to eradicate is its ability to regenerate new growth from roots and stumps. Privet pollen is also a severe allergenic.
Burning Bush, Euonymus alatus
Burning bush was introduced into the United States for use as an ornamental shrub. Its attractive, bright red fall color has made it a popular choice but its fast growing nature and exceptional seed production has landed it on the invasive list. This is another shrub that forms dense monotypic stands that reduces habitat diversity. In open woodlands this shrub will replace native shrubs while creating a dense root mass that prevents herbaceous growth.
Alternative Native Species: Red Cokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia), Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum), Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum)
Japanese Stilt Grass, Microstagium vimineumÂ
Introduced into the United States by accident, Japanese stilt grass grows in a variety of habitats from full sun to dense shade, preferring moist, acidic to neutral soils that are high in nitrogen. Spreading exclusively by seed, this annual grass can produce between 100-1000 seed per parent plant. Seeds often fall close but can be carried by water or moved around by humans or animals. Alternative native species will vary depending on site conditions
There are a number of strategies used to control these species including mechanical and chemical. The most important and easiest is to discover an invasion early and remove them before the population becomes too high. Preventing them from entering a vulnerable habitat in the first place is most ideal. Here at Cedar Run Landscapes we hope that by providing information about these plants and recommending the removal these species from the landscape can help minimize habitat destruction due to invasive plants.
If you would like to learn more about these species or others check out this DCNR site.Â http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/plants/invasiveplants/index.htm