Battling Invasive Plants WORKSHOP

Hi Gang,

Invasives are everywhere we look.  This majestic tree, covered in English Ivy, is doomed.  Many invasive plants, like this one, were brought to America mainly as decorative plants.

I’m looking forward to teaching the final workshop in the 5-part “Gardening for Wildlife” series this coming Saturday, focused on a problem we’ve all dealt with.  I’ll be drawing a lot from my own experiences, including recovering our woods from a 10′ high wall of impenetrable Multiflora Rose.  The excellent book, Invasive Plants, Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species, by Kaufman and Kaufman, will be our guide.

Hope you can join me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Battlestar Backyardia, Battling the Alien Invaders

How to deal with invasive species

10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Many people are not aware of the damage they can do when they plant non-native, invasive problem plants. In a very short while these plants might invade the neighbor’s yard, properties across the street and down the street, and even nearby preserves.

The invasion of non-natives has taken a big toll on butterflies and moths (that need native plants to lay their eggs on) and insect-eating birds looking for butterfly and moth caterpillars. Sadly, most nurseries contribute heavily to this problem by offering for sale many known culprits, plants that are outlawed in surrounding states and plants that the State of New Jersey is spending enormous amounts of money to control and remove from natural areas. Purple Loosestrife is a prime example, yet one of many.

Most shoppers assume that nurseries are acting responsibly, but the wise gardener needs to be informed (and outspoken) when they find problem invasive plants for sale at local nurseries.

This program will showcase key invasive plants, help you learn how to identify them, offer suggestions on how to control or remove these plants if they find their way into your garden, and suggest alternatives.

Limit: 30 participants; preregistration is required.

Cost/workshop: $35 member of NJ Audubon Society, $45 nonmember (includes handouts).

To Register Contact: NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204 (609-898-8848).

4 Replies to “Battling Invasive Plants WORKSHOP”

  1. Hi Pat! Hope you had a full gang in for the invasive workshop yesterday.

    Wish I lived closer.

    1. Hi Bobbye, Yes we had an enthusiastic group with lots of unique and some similar invasive plant problems to address and discuss. I learned a lot putting the workshop together and I think we all learned a lot from each other. There were many “ah hah!” moments for all. Wish you could have joined us too. Cheers, Pat

  2. It must have been a very interesting workshop. Too bad I had to miss it. What do you make of posts such as this by Bill Hilton? POLLINATORS APLENTY: ENGLISH IVY’S MIXED BLESSINGS,
    He praises the English ivy for providing food for pollinators when there is no other food around. My comment is that, if pollinators resort to a non-native, it means that the habitat has been profoundly disturbed. There should have been flowers, co-evolved and synchronized with pollinators and they are missing. To me that kind of “beneficial” non-natives are like prosthesis, a poor substitute for the real thing. One should try to restore the normal balance. Of course it is easier said than done.

    1. Hi Beatriz, English Ivy is (sadly) abundant here in Cape May County, NJ, where I live. It blooms in the fall when Monarchs are migrating through and some days many Monarchs nectar on it along with a wide assortment of other insects. Unlike Bill Hilton, we’re lucky to have many, many native plants blooming at that time that also attract Monarchs (Seaside Goldenrod, Tall Sunflower, New England Aster and Sedum in wildlife gardens, etc. Most wildlife gardeners I know are busy removing English Ivy (that might have been planted by a previous landowner or escaped from a neighbor’s patch). But, yes, where it is left alone and wanders up & over trees, it blooms prolifically and is quite full of insects. Right now there’s a movement to remove invasives from Cape Island (the land around Cape May and Cape May Point) spearheaded by NJ Audubon (Jean Lynch & Suzanne Treyger). They have their hands full with English Ivy, Porcelainberry, Clematis, Autumn Olive, Garlic Mustard, Multiflora Rose, Japanese Honeysuckle, and the list goes on and on. Power to them and the many volunteers helping them.

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