BELLEFONTE, Pa. – With recent efforts to combat the threat of invasive plants in woodlands, Penn State Extension has released new resources to help with identification and control. A total of 14 invasive plant fact sheets are now up on the Penn State Extension web site. Art Gover, Penn State Wildland Weed Management Specialist, David Jackson, and Sarah Wurzbacher both Penn State Forest Resources Educators, and Sky Templeton, graduate of the Penn State Forest Biology program prepared the fact sheet.
The term “invasive” is used to describe a plant which grows rapidly, spreads aggressively, and displaces other native plants. They are non-native to the area but have naturalized and negatively affect the ecosystem they inhabit. Invasive plants degrade native environments by causing a decline in native plant species diversity. They degrade wildlife habitats for native insects, birds, and other wildlife and threaten rare species. In addition, invasive plants have been shown to inhibit forest regeneration success and slow or halt natural succession. Once well established, invasive plants require large amounts of time, labor, and money to control or eradicate.
Each four-page fact sheet provides in-depth practical information to help landowners and natural resource professionals identify and treat invasive plants commonly found in fields, forests, and other natural areas. The fact sheets provide full-color images and descriptions to assist with identification, as well as information on native look-alikes, dispersal, site, and control, including a management calendar and treatment and timing table.
Species described in the series include tree-of-heaven, Callery pear, common and glossy buckthorn, Japanese barberry, multiflora rose, shrub honeysuckles, autumn olive, privet, burning bush, Oriental bittersweet, Japanese knotweed, mile-a-minute vine, Japanese stiltgrass, and garlic mustard. Jackson states, “It is our hope that once landowners and managers learn to identify these common invasive plants, they will begin to implement control measures to help prevent further spread and habitat degradation.”
These fact sheets will help you properly identify many of the most problematic woodland invasive plants. They can all be found by typing the plant name in the search bar on the Penn State Extension web site. Each is available as a free downloadable PDF; printed copies are available for purchase. Visit: https://extension.psu.edu/forests-and-wildlife/forest-management/invasive-and-competing-plants