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Control of Invasive Non-Native Plants

Control of Invasive Non-Native Plants

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Published by msblsports
In the next century, the greatest threat to our native plants and the wildlife species that depend upon them may well come from other plants.
In the next century, the greatest threat to our native plants and the wildlife species that depend upon them may well come from other plants.

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Published by: msblsports on Jan 23, 2012
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Page 1A Plant's Home
©
WindStar Wildlife Institute
For more nature habitat informationVisit these helpful websites:
A Plant's HomeA Bird's HomeA Homesteader's Home
Control of InvasiveNon-Native Plants
 In the next century, the greatest threat to our native plants and the wildlife species that depend upon them may well come from other plants.
A Guide For Gardenersand Homeowners in theMid-Atlantic Region
T
housands of plant specieshave been brought to NorthAmerican in the past threecenturies. Most are well-behaved,rarely penetrating natural areas.Several hundred, however, have nonatural controls here, and are ableto out-compete and graduallydisplace our native plants, evendeep in forests and undisturbedecosystems.Variously called alien, introduced,or exotic, these non-natives arehighly invasive.Some of these plants werebrought here intentionally, for theirmedicinal, ornamental, or foodvalue. Others hid in soil, crop seed,or ballast.Most came from othercontinents, but a few have spreadfrom other parts of the U.S. In eachregion, different species are betteradapted and therefore pose agreater threat.This guide is for the piedmont andinner coastal plain regions of Maryland, northern Virginia, theDistrict of Columbia, Delaware, andsoutheastern Pennsylvania.Many of the plants in this guideare popular, even beloved, landscapeplants, but it is now clear that theypose a threat to our environment.
If you cannot effectively containthese plants within your property,by clipping seeds, fruits, or runners,please consider removing them.
It is a difficult decision, but eachof us has a responsibility not todamage the local ecosystem thatcleans our air and water, stabilizesthe soil, buffers floods, and providesfood and shelter for innumerablespecies besides our own.
 
Page 2A Plant's Home
©
WindStar Wildlife Institute
Each of the non-native plantsin this guide significantly reducesthe number of plant and animalspecies on any site it invades.
When evaluating exotic plantsfor your garden, ask thesequestions:
s
Does it naturalize or self-sow.How far does it spread. Arethe seeds spread by wind orwater.
If so, don
t plant it unlessyou are prepared to remove allseeds, every year.
s
Is it a wildlife food plant. If theanswer is yes, wildlife willspread it to woods andwetlands. In other words,
these are plants to avoid.Plant natives instead.
s
Is it a rapidly spreadingground cover. If so, don
t
plant it adjacent to openspace.
s
Is it low maintenance
 – 
hardy,tolerant of drought orflooding, shade-tolerant, pestfree. If so, it has no natural
controls here. Do not plant itif it can spread out of thegarden.
s
Does it have the ability to killor suppress growth of surrounding plants by shadingthem out, chemically poisoningthem, or out-competing themfor food and water. (Norwaymaple, a common landscapetree, is a prime example.) If 
so, you don
t want it in yourgarden anyway!
This guide lists garden plantsand weeds which are alreadycausing significant changes tonatural areas in the Mid-Atlantic.Measures for controlling eachspecies are indicated by number,e.g., (3), in the text, and explainedon page 9.The suggested alternatives arenative plants, well adapted andneeding little care, attractive tobirds and butterflies, and animportant part of the food webfor our indigenous species.
Recommended Native Shrubs
Spicebush (
 Lindera benzoin
), which is covered with tiny yellow flowersin March, is our most common native shrub. It needs rich soil, asdoes Strawberry bush
(Euonymus americanus
).Maple-leaf viburnum (
Viburnum acerifolium
) is suited to dry shadeand thinner soil, while the arrowwoods
(Viburnum dentatum, V.recognitum, V. nudum
) grow in moist soil.Wild hydrangea (
 Hydrangea arborescens
), parent of some cultivatedvarieties, is a somewhat vining shrub.Highbush blueberry
(Vaccinium corymbosum
, the parent of cultivatedblueberries) and Lowbush blueberry
(V. vacillans
) need very acidic soil.They tolerate shade but fruit best in sun. Both turn red in fall.
Invasive, Non-Native Shrubs
Multiflora Rose (
 Rosamultiflora
), formerly recommendedfor erosion control, hedges, andwildlife habitat, becomes a hugeshrub that chokes out all othervegetation and is too dense formany species of birds to nest in,though a few favor it.In shade, it grows up trees like avine. It is covered with whiteflowers in June. (Our native roseshave fewer flowers, mostly pink.)Distinguish multiflora by itssize, and by the presence of veryhard, curved thorns, and a fringededge to the leaf stalk.Control: (1)
 – 
pull seedlings, digout larger plants at least 6" fromthe crown and 6" down; (4) onextensive infestations; (10) or (11).It may remain green in winter, soherbicide may be applied whenother plants are dormant. Forfoliar applications, mix Rodeo withextra sticker-spreader, or useRoundup Sure Shot Foam on smallplants.
Multiflora Rose
 
Page 3A Plant's Home
©
WindStar Wildlife Institute
The Most InvasiveNon-Native Weeds
Garlic Mustard
(Alliaria petiolata, A. officinalis
), a white-flowered biennial with rough,scalloped leaves (kidney, heart- orarrow-shaped), recognizable bythe smell of garlic and taste of mustard when its leaves arecrushed.Control: Pull before it flowers inspring (10) removing crown androots. Tamp down soil afterwards.Once it has flowered, cut (2),being careful not to scatter seed,then bag and burn or seed to thelandfill. (11) may be appropriate insome settings.Japanese or Vietnamese StiltGrass, Eulalia
(Microstegiumvimineum
) can be identified by itslime-green color and a line of silvery hairs down the middle of the 2-3" long blade. It toleratessun or dense shade and quicklyinvades areas left bare ordisturbed by tilling or flooding.Control: Easily pulled in early tomid-summer (1)
 – 
be sure to pullbefore it goes to seed. If seedshave formed, bag and burn or sendto landfill. Mowing weekly, or whenit has just begun to flower mayBush Honeysuckles (
Loniceraspp.
), including Belle, Amur,Morrow
s and Tatarianhoneysuckle. (In our region,assume that any honeysuckle isexotic unless it is a scarlet-flowered vine.)Bush honeysuckles createdenser shade than native shrubs,reducing plant diversity andeliminating nest sites for manyforest interior species.Control: (2) on ornamentals; (1);on shady sites only, brush cut inearly spring and again in early fall(3); (4) during the growingseason; (7); or (10) late in thegrowing season.
Other Ornamental Shrubs
Japanese Spiraea
(Spiraea japonica
). Control: (1); (2); (3),(7), (10), or (11).Privet (all Ligustrum species).Control: (1); (7) or (10); or trim off all flowers. Do not cut back ormow.Burning Bush, WingedEuonymus, Winged Wahoo,(
 Euonymus alatus
), identified bywide, corky wings on the branches.There is another species calledBurning bush,
 E. atropurpureus,
which is indigenous to theAppalachians, and a piedmonteuonymus called Strawberry bush(
 E. americanus
).Control: (1); (7) or (10); or trimoff all flowers.Japanese Barberry
(Berberisthunbergii
), red and greenvarieties.Control: (1); (7) or (10); or trimoff all flowers.prevent it from setting seed (3).Use glyphosate (11) or herbicidalsoap (less effective) on largeinfestations. Follow-up with (5) inspring.Mile-a-minute Vine, Devil
s TailTearthumb (
Polygonum perfolatum
), a rapidly growingannual vine with triangular leaves,barbed stems, and turquoiseberries in August which are spreadby birds. It quickly covers andshades out herbaceous plants.Control: same as for stilt grass.Japanese Perilla, Beefsteak Plant (
Perilla frutescens
). Sold asa salad plant, this member of themint family is extremely invasive bywind-borne seeds. Recognize it bythe odd odor, supposedly like rawbeef, when you rub it.Control: (1); (2); (10) or (11).Spotted Knapweed (
Centaureamaculosa
) a biennial with thistle-like flowers.Canada Thistle, Bull Thistle(
Cirsium arvense, C. Vulgare
).Exotic thistles are far morecommon than native ones. If youcannot identify the species, it is
Garlic Mustard

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