Many gardeners have an appreciation and a passion for nature and wildlife. They also know the challenge of keeping weeds under control. Invasive plants are very much like weeds – they may in fact be called ‘super-weeds’. They threaten not only gardens with their aggressively spreading habit, but natural areas and the environment in general.
The down low on invasive plants:
- Invasive plants out-compete native species for space and resources,
- lack natural predators,
- grow aggressively,
- reproduce rapidly
Many gardeners would be surprised to learn that many invasive plants are often introduced to natural areas by the horticultural industry. Often the traits that make a great plant in a garden can be the same traits that create less-than-desirable effects when they are spread to natural areas by humans, wildlife, wind and water. Granted, not all non-native plants are invasive. In fact, some are even beneficial. But effective action must be taken to avoid planting non-native plants that are invasive.
The map below displays the locations of many common garden escapees such as Norway maple (Acer platanoides), Burning bush (Euonymus alatus) and Periwinkle (Vinca minor) in the Credit River watershed.
This data was compiled from CVC’s Ecological Land Classification data (where a location point on the map represents the centre of an area where the species was found). It also contains individual sightings by staff in the field. This is not considered a complete data set because there are only records for locations visited by CVC staff. It shows, however, just how widespread these species have become.
You can help by:
- Learning about invasive plants and reporting them to CVC
- Volunteering at events to help stop invasive plants
- Managing invasive plants on your property if they are at risk of spreading to natural areas
- Disposing of garden waste or plants properly (NOT dumping them into natural areas)
- Encouraging nurseries to label or remove invasive plants
- Spreading the word about invasive plants
To learn more visit: CVC’s Invasive Species Program website