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Introduction

Invasive plants are non-native species that threaten natural areas by altering the native biodiversity found in our forests, savannas, grasslands, prairies, and wetlands. Invasive plants and habitat destruction are the greatest threats to natural areas. We can all help minimize the impact of invasive plants by removing these species when they occur in our landscaping or surrounding habitat. Invasive plants, by nature, do not stay where they were planted, moving by seed and/or by vegetative means to surrounding natural areas. Control and removal of invasive plants in natural areas is a huge challenge for both private landowners and public land managers. Restoration may include replanting native species, or in many cases, the native species will re-establish once the invasives are removed. ​

Helpful Definitions

Native (or indigenous) – a species that has been present in Ohio prior to substantial European settlement (1750 in Ohio).

Non-native (also known as exotic, alien, or introduced) – a species that was introduced to Ohio by humans, either deliberately or accidentally, from other states or countries.

Invasive – a non-native species that is able to establish itself within existing native plant communities in natural areas (forests, grasslands, savannas, wetlands); invasive species pose a threat to the integrity and native biological diversity of the community by outcompeting native species.

Cultivar – a plant variety that has been selected and maintained through cultivation.

 

Choosing Alternatives to Invasives

Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana)
• White flowers in early spring have a bad odor; glossy leaves which turn red to purple in fall
• Prolific fruits change from green to brown, not edible
• Fast growth, often invading roadsides, fields, and meadows

Recommended Alternatives:
* serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.)*-US/OH
* black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica & CVs)*-OH
* willow oak (Quercus phellos)-US

Asian Bush Honeysuckles: Amur, Morrow, and Tatarian (Lonicera maackii, Lonicera morrowii, and Lonicera tatarica)
• Form dense populations in the understory of woods
• Leaf out early and hold leaves late in the fall
• Seeds from red berries are dispersed by birds and deer

Recommended Alternatives:
* bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)*-US
* black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)-OH
* summersweet clethra (Clethra alnifolia & CVs)-US
* common winterberry (Ilex verticillata & CVs)*-OH

 

Autumn- and Russian-Olives (Elaeagnus umbellata, Elaeagnus angustifolia)

• Shrub, small tree with silvery leaves, thrives in poor soil
• Fruit is red (autumn-olive) or yellow (Russian), containing seeds with high viability
• Fragrant cream-colored or pale yellow flowers in spring

 

Recommended Alternatives:
* silky dogwood (Cornus amomum)-OH
* gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)*-OH
* American hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)*-OH

 

Gardeners and landowners are often looking to replace invasive plants in their landscapes or in adjacent natural habitat. Invasive plants may be in our yards, woods, grasslands, or wetlands and we can choose to remove them. Many of these invasive, non-native plants have been in our landscapes for years, while others are currently sold in the nursery industry.

Original Blog Source:  Ohio Invasive Plant Council

Contact Gerrin Green:  We have Certified Arborists that are trained to recognize the economic, environmental, and societal benefits and values of trees.  Working with homeowners and property owners allow our arborist to share knowledge and evaluate the need for prescribed care at a cost that demonstrates the wise stewardship of resources.