There may be a blanket of snow on the ground, but now is a great time to start thinking about the invasive species in your backyard. Our Ecological Management Coordinator, Tia Pinney, has some great tips for getting started:
- Take a class! There are many places that offer classes and workshops about invasive species management, like New England Wildflower Society, and here at Drumlin Farm. Taking a class is a great way to familiarize yourself with the basics, like which plants to look for and what your management options are.
- Do your research. Know which species you are looking for, and research the best management method for each one. A flowering plant like garlic mustard can be easily pulled, while a woody plant like buckthorn might need a more aggressive approach. See the Resources section for some starting points.
- Start early—invasive plants are often the first green plants of the season. Many invasive plants begin to grow and spread at the first sign of spring, as they respond to the warmer temperatures. Native plants tend to respond to increased daylight hours, so they often green-up later than non-natives
- Set a reasonable goal. Many invasive plants are too wide-spread to completely eradicate, so choose your battles wisely and do the best you can. Target plants that degrade habitat, like multiflora rose, buckthorn, or garlic mustard, to make a lasting improvement for native plants and animals.
- Spread the word! You increase your positive impact for the ecosystem and decrease your chance of returning invasive species when your friends and neighbors make improvements to their yards, too.
Have you already taken on an invasive species management project? Share your tips here!
Need help getting started? Here’s a list of resources recommended by Tia.
- SuAsCo CISMA (Coorperative Invasive Species Management Area)
- Mass Dept. of Energy and Environmental Affairs- Invasive Plants
- Mass Dept. of Energy and Environmental Affairs- Prohibited Plant List
- The Invasive Plant Atlas of New England
- New England Wildflower Society