Invasive plants are those whose presence causes economic, environmental, and/or human health problems. The vast majority of invasive species are non-native; in other words they do not occur naturally in a place, but have been introduced by some means to an area. Since these species are in a new environment, there are few if any natural predators, parasites, or competitors to keep the population in check. Therefore, it is easy for these plants to spread and quickly out-compete native plants, literally covering them and breaking them down or shading them out. Invasive plants often reduce the availability of wildlife food and habitat in the infested areas.
Invasive plants are a particular nuisance in riparian (streamside) areas because they often do not have the root structure necessary to prevent erosion along mountain streams, nor do they provide appropriate leaf/twig material that aquatic insects and fish need. HRWC works to eradicate non-native invasive plant species in riparian areas as part of its restoration program of work. The HRWC restoration coordinator can often assist landowners with eliminating invasive plants and recommending native alternatives in riparian areas in the upper Hiwassee River watershed. Contact us for technical assistance.
“Bradford” Callery Pear
Heavenly Bamboo, Sacred Bamboo
Leatherleaf Mahonia or Chinese Grape Holly
Royal Paulownia or Princess Tree
Tree of Heaven
Winged Burning Bush
Illustrated, easy-to-read fact sheets on invasive alien plants with native ranges, plant descriptions, ecological threats, U.S. distributions & habitats, background of introductions, plant reproduction & dispersal, management approaches, and alternative native plants: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/factmain.htm
Invasive Plants of the Eastern United States: Identification and Control: http://www.invasive.org/eastern/
Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council: http://www.se-eppc.org/
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Invasive Species Web Site: http://www.fws.gov/invasives/
Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants: http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/
NC Noxious Weed List: http://www.ncagr.gov/plantindustry/plant/weed/noxweed.htm