Monday, December 27, 2021

Pennsylvania Banning Callery (Bradford) Pear


Harrisburg, PA – The PA Department of Agriculture added Callery pear, or Pyrus calleryana, commonly called Bradford Pear to a list of noxious weeds — plants that cannot be legally sold or cultivated in the state. The popular, non-native, flowering fruit tree naturalizes, spreading from planted landscapes, crowding out other plants and disrupting native ecosystems. The ban on sale and cultivation will take effect February 9, 2022 with enforcement phased in over two years.

"Callery pear is another non-native plant that was brought to this country for its beauty and rapid growth, without regard for its long-term potential to harm our environment and food supply," said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. "Banning the sale of an invasive plant is an important tool to stop its spread and is a step we take only after careful consideration of the damage it causes and its potential for continued harm to our ecosystem and economy."

Enforcement of the ban will be phased in over two years to allow time for nurseries and landscaping businesses to eliminate it from their stock and replace the trees with alternatives that pose less threat to the environment and agriculture. The department has established an exemption procedure for breeders who own the rights to varieties that have been researched and proven sterile, and will consider exempting these varieties from the ban.

Callery pear was brought to the U.S. in the early 1900s by researchers looking for a fire blight-resistant species that could be bred with European pear to increase fruit production. It has garnered attention in recent years as a prolific invader that can easily spread into woodlands, pastures, fields and natural areas.

Property owners should control the tree's spread on their land and consider native alternatives when planting new trees. Find native alternatives and information on how to control the plant on the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website, dcnr.pa.gov.

The timeline for the two-year rollout of the ban is as follows:

Winter 2021 - Callery pear added to Pennsylvania's Controlled plant and Noxious Weed list as a Class B weed. Class B weeds are those that are so prolific they cannot realistically be eradicated. These plants are targeted for control measures.

February 2022 – Nursery and landscape businesses will receive notice from the department, advising them to immediately begin adjusting propagation, ordering and planting of Callery Pear to decrease inventory.

February 2023 – The department will issue letters of warning to any plant merchant still selling Callery Pear, providing a date in February 2024 after which remaining inventory will be subject to a destruction order.

February 2024 – The department will issue Stop Sale and destruction orders to plant merchants selling or distributing Callery Pear.

Merchants with questions should contact ra-plant@pa.gov.

Find more information about Callery pear and other noxious, controlled and poisonous plants in Pennsylvania  visit agriculture.pa.gov. For comprehensive information about controlling numerous invasive plants in Pennsylvania, visit:https://extension.psu.edu/forests-and-wildlife/forest-management/invasive-and-competing-plants.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

New Video on Invasive Species by NY DEC

 New York State (NYS) Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) brings you, “Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species”. It tells the story of invasive species in NYS and how the DEC and their partners are tackling them. 

One of the biggest ways you can help stop invasive species is by educating friends, family, and neighbors about the small choices they can make that have a big impact, such as: Using local firewood, cleaning, draining, and drying your watercraft and gear, removing mud and debris off your equipment, boots, gear, and pets. 

Uninvited was filmed in 2018. Invasive species move fast; Since the time of filming there have been some updates to the information provided in the film.

Check it out at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKh8Lc31rm8



Monday, October 11, 2021

Barberry Added to List of Plants Illegal to Sell in Pennsylvania


Beginning October 6, 2021, Japanese barberry and two other invasive plant species were added to the list of plants that are illegal to propagate or sell in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee placed a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on August 7 officially adding the following species to the Noxious Weed List as Class B noxious weeds:

             Berberis thunbergia, Japanese barberry

             Microstegium vimineum, Japanese stiltgrass

             Alliaria petiolate, garlic mustard

This becomes effective 60 days after notice.

Most notable is the addition of Japanese barberry, a popular nursery and landscaping plant. Until the Department of Agriculture develops a process to apply for permission to sell sterile varieties, both sterile and nonsterile varieties are banned.

The first two years of enforcement will be incremental, to allow for outreach to plant merchants, landscape professionals, and other states to enable the industry to work towards compliance. 

Noxious weeds are determined to be injurious to public health, crops, livestock, and agricultural land or other property and cannot be sold, transported, planted, or otherwise propagated in Pennsylvania. Class B noxious weeds are widely established and cannot feasibly be eradicated. You can learn more about the Pennsylvania’s Noxious weed law by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Audubon’s Healthy Forests Guide is Now Available!

Audubon Mid-Atlantic's newest resource for Pennsylvania is here, along with two updated companion publications. Designed for industry professionals, including consulting and public-lands foresters, Healthy Forests: A Bird-based Silvicultural Guide for Forestry Professionals, is chock full of silviculture guidance, management scenarios, and ideas for successful bird-friendly forestry.  

The guide weaves together effective, traditional forest management techniques with bird-friendly practices that support multiple objectives, including wildlife habitat enhancement/creation, timber production, forest regeneration, and recreation. Understanding that every forest property, client, and situation is unique, the guide includes sections like 'Selling Silviculture' with tips for engaging landowners. The ‘Silvicultural Options and Scenarios’ section describes effective management solutions for common forest conditions and issues found across the Mid-Atlantic region.

Available alongside the Healthy Forests Guide are two companion pieces: the Forest Birds Pocket Guide and the Healthy Forests Quick Start Guide.   

The Forest Birds Pocket Guide includes detailed descriptions of the habitat and forest conditions needed by 18 priority bird species in Pennsylvania. It’s an easy-to-use companion to the Healthy Forests Guide with supplemental material to help inform management decisions for priority birds.  

The Healthy Forests Quick Start Guide is the perfect tool for those of you who are already familiar with incorporating bird-friendly practices into forest management prescriptions. It’s concise, relevant, and easy to use, with everything you need on just a single page.     

Audubon’s Healthy Forests Guide benefitted from critical funding and partnerships with Natural Resources Conservation Service, Hamer Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Game Commission, The Nature Conservancy, Penn State Extension, American Forest Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, and the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture. Each was instrumental in helping to develop this guide so that it would be useful and relevant to foresters across the commonwealth.  

Learn more and download the guides here.