February 27th through March 3rd is National Invasive Species Awareness Week.

The logo for the National Invasive Species Awareness Week. A design where the letters NISAW are made out of pictures of plants, insects and birds

Last weekend I walked the one mile trail at the Saugerties Lighthouse and was upset to see the masses of Oriental Bittersweet (vine), Phragmites (reed), Purple Loosestrife (plant) and Eurasian Water Chestnut (aquatic plant).

I feel overwhelmed by the insidious destruction of our natural environment and can only remain positive by saying to myself “Well I’m creating a healthy ecosystem in my garden and I’m choosing native plants now”.

Early identification and eradication of invasives is key, it’s easier to remove a seedling than a mature plant. Familiarize yourself with the appearance of the most common invasive plants, especially in the seedling stage, then you can remove them promptly.

For timely notification of new invasive species/occurrences in NY join the mailing list of Lower Hudson Prism  There’s plenty of information online about how to ID and remove invasive plants or contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension with any questions.

Looking for professional help, contact Poison Ivy Patrol, they have a holistic approach and don’t use toxic chemicals.

Let’s share this information so individuals can take action on their own land.

Drifts of 1000s of Eurasion Water Chestnut seed heads.

Huge drifts of Eurasian Water Chestnut seed heads are washed up on the shores of the Hudson River (above)

piles of seedheads of the invasive aquatic plant, Eurasian Water Chestnut

These seed heads have sharp points (very painful to step on) and are known locally as ‘Cow Heads’ (above)

Phragmites stems and seed heads

Phragmites is a perennial grass that grows about 15′ tall. These are the dry seed heads in the winter (above)

Phragmites stems form a thicket

The thicket of Phragmites stems is dense and prevents other plants from growing, reducing biodiversity (above)

Invasive Oriental Bittersweet stems growing up a tree trunk

Invasive Oriental Bittersweet stems growing up a tree trunk (above)

Mature trees eventually fall due to the weight of the Oriental Bittersweet stems in the canopy of the tree

Mature trees eventually fall due to the weight of the Oriental Bittersweet stems in the canopy of the tree (above)

Oriental Bittersweet in the tree canopy

Oriental Bittersweet in the tree canopy (above)

 

 

 

 

Advertisements