Remove Invasive Plants
Invasive plants escape from our yards and crowd out important native plants in natural areas. Pollinator friendly habitat does not contain these plants.
For certification, you will need to:
- Avoid acquiring invasive ornamental plants
- Develop a plan to actively remove and/or avoid use of invasive plants
Image: Japanese barberry invades a Pennsylvania forest
What is an invasive plant?
According to the National Invasive Species Information Center, an invasive species is a non-native species whose introduction does, or is likely to, cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.
They out-compete native species for food or other resources
Example: Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) alters microbial activity in soils, increases soil pH, and reduces forest leaf litter.
They may cause or carry disease that affects the health of native species
Example: Hemlock woolly adelgid, an insect pest from Asia, kills eastern hemlock trees.
They contribute to the decline of threatened and endangered species
Example: Feral pigs forage aggressively for insects, plants, small birds, amphibians, reptiles, fruits, nuts, and berries.
They prey on native species or prevent them from reproducing
Example: Norway maple from Asia and Europe seeds prolifically and produces dense shade preventing native species regeneration.
They change entire food webs, decreasing biodiversity
Example: Purple loosestrife chokes out waterways by creating a monoculture.
For more information, see the Pennsylvania DCNR Invasive Plant Fact Sheets.
Yes, these common plants are on the invasive list:
- Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
- Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)
- Bush Honeysuckles, Tartarian, Amur, (Lonicera sp.)
- Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)
- Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
- Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
- Privet (Ligustrum sp)
The PA Department of Agriculture states that more than 140 invasive plant species pose significant risk of negative impacts for Pennsylvania.
What can you do?
- Avoid buying and planting invasive plants in your landscape. Be selective and research your plants prior to purchasing them to ensure you select native and/or non-invasive plants for your landscape.
- Identify existing invasive plants on your property and initiate a plan to remove them. If you have a woodlot or meadow on your property, remove any invasive plants and protect existing populations of native plants.
- Where invasive plants are removed, replant with native plants or seed in native plants as soon as possible.