Wear clothing appropriate for the work and weather and bring gloves and hand clippers or loppers. Meet in the McCoy Farm & Garden gravel parking lot at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 7. To learn more, contact volunteer coordinator Karen Stone at (423) 886-4568 or firstname.lastname@example.org or grounds chairman Andy Jones at (423) 802-6025 or email@example.com.
Come learn how to recognize and remove non-native invasive plant species and how to plan, execute, and maintain restoration of native plant communities. No experience is necessary, since volunteers are supervised by an expert in invasive weed management. To learn more about the movement, go to https://www.weedwrangle.org/
Non-native invasive plants are harmful to our natural ecosystems. They greatly impact the health and regeneration of forest lands by spreading into the understory of a forest and suppressing native plants and wildlife dependent on them. These species will destroy or replace native food sources, making the ecosystem less diverse and more susceptible to further disturbances, such as disease and fire.
Native plants have extensive root systems that control erosion, moderate floods, filter water to improve water quality, and decrease the amount of water needed for landscape maintenance. Important for biodiversity, native plants provide food and habitat for pollinators and wildlife. Native plants provide several distinct advantages gained through their evolutionary development in association with the land, climate, fellow native plants, and native wildlife.
Invasive species will take full advantage of disturbed empty space unless other plantings are added to fill that space and provide sufficient competition. Removal of non-native species should be followed with the introduction of suitable native plant species chosen for their compatibility with the soil pH, fertility, moisture and amount of sunlight. Without the overwhelming competition from invasives, native plants will have the space, nutrients, water, and sunlight they need to germinate seeds and grow unimpeded.
State, federal, and private natural resource managers have worked together to reduce populations of non-native invasive plants for years, but often cooperative effort is hampered by boundaries. Even the diligent, intensive control efforts of land managers won’t be successful in the long run if non-native invasive plants can find refuge on a neighboring property. Only together can we control the spread of non-native invasive plants.
A step-by-step guide from Tennessee Invasive Plant Council walks homeowners through the process of identifying invasive plants in the residential landscape and helps them select the best solution for effective and lasting control. “Invasive Plant Primer for the Home Landscape: Identify, Control, Replant” outlines the best way to move from a lifeless yard choked with invasive plants to an ecologically functional landscape of diverse native plants supporting area wildlife. Find it at https://www.tnipc.org/. Printed copies of the guide are available thanks to the Tennessee Division of Forestry and a grant from the U.S. Forest Service.
Non-native invasive plants pose a major threat on a national scale to our native plants. Across the U.S., invasive plants are estimated to occur on seven million acres of our national parklands, and at least 1.5 million acres are severely infested. In addition to federal lands, state and private lands are also plagued with invasive/non-native plants and have potentially even higher infestation rates. This problem is an expensive one. The economic cost to remove invasive plants is estimated at more than $34 billion per year, and the costs continue to grow.
by Karen Stone