Invasive Plant Removal - Virginia Native Plant Society

Invasive Plant Removal
Invasive plants have become a cancer on Mother Nature’s landscape by blocking out sunlight with its thick layer of growth. In addition,
vines girdle a plant’s natural form. Alien plants displace or eliminate native species of plants and animals and their habitats. It is
important to learn to identify these non-native species or “exotics” plants for removal in our landscapes and natural areas. Department
of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) in cooperation with the Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS) identified 115 species of plants that
are on the list of Invasive Alien Plant Species. These plants…”are known, or have the potential, to threaten rare plant and animal
species, native forests and grasslands, and other natural communities.” (Heritage, June 2001)
Here are five invasive plants to remove from our landscapes and natural areas of leisure.
Ailanthus altissma
Carex kobomugi Ohwi
Ligustrum sinense
Phragmites australis
Pueraria montana
Hand tools such as pruners and loppers can be used for vines and a round point shovel for small trees. Try using a plastic 15 gallon
planting container is easy to handle with holes on the bottom so it is easy to dump and pull out of the trash liners after dumping. Wear
long sleeves, long pants with boots and thick leather gloves so to protect your skin from thorns and poison ivy contact. Work is slow
and detail oriented so block off a small area to cut back. Work on one plant at a time removing unwanted plant sections at a time or by
the roots. Collect invasive plant parts and place in trash collection. Please do not recycle these plants. Check back periodically during
the growing season for regrowth of plants. Know that all that you do will help protect all of our natural resources. Thank you for your
assistance on this growing problem.
Beth Richardson, Horticulturist/Arborist/Environmentalist 2011
DCR Invasive Alien Plant Species of Virginia September 2009
Plant Conservation Alliance’s Alien Plant Working Group May 2005