Invasive species are recognized as one of the greatest threats
… to the integrity of natural communities along with being direct threats to the survival of numerous indigenous species. What many people may not know is that the types of invasive plants vary from state to state; There are some plants that you can plant in Massachusetts but you cannot plant in states like Rhode Island or New Hampshire.
Experts estimate that invasive plants already infest more than 100,000,000 acres of land in the United States. In the U.S. about 3 million acres are lost to invasive plants each year. To put that into perspective, that is twice the area of Delaware. In Massachusetts alone, state agencies spent over half a million dollars in 2001 on the control of nonindigenous aquatic plants through cost share assistance and direct control efforts on state lands. This half million figure doesn’t include things such as extensive control efforts taken by private landowners and municipalities, it also does not cover lost revenue due to decreased recreational boating, fishing and swimming opportunities. Lastly it does not take into account the decreases in property values due to infestations of neighboring lakes and ponds by aquatic organisms.
Invasive plants poses a great threats to the nature of Massachusetts.
These non-native species were mostly introduced accidentally while others were on purpose, for garden or landscape use. Sixty six plant species have been scientifically documented to be invasive in Massachusetts by the MIPAG; Said plant species were banned after they were discovered to be harmful. In Massachusetts you are banned from importation, propagation/breeding and the sale of these plants. Some examples of invasive plants include mosses, shrubs, herbs, trees, vines, flowering plants, etc. All of these have the ability to thrive and spread aggressively outside their native ranges. A naturally aggressive plant may be especially invasive when it is introduced to a new habitat.
You might be wondering why exactly these are a problem, you might be saying to yourself “it’s just a plant what can it really, actually do?” To keep it simple it is a matter of ecology. Now in many cases, plants from other parts of the world are a welcome and manageable addition to our gardens. However in the situations involving these invasive plants these non-native species cause serious ecological disturbances. In the most severe cases, invasive plants like kudzu, purple loosestrife and mile-a-minute ruthlessly choke out other plant life. This in turn puts extreme pressure on native plants and animals. Threatened species may also succumb to these pressures. In the end, invasive plants alter habitats and reduce biodiversity.
The next question you may be asking yourself is “Well what can I do?” There are plenty of precautionary steps you can take for the sake of your property and its gardens.
Here are some things to consider:
- Because each state is different first, contact your local native plant society or State Department of Natural Resources so you can find out which plants are invasive in your area.
- You can learn to identify locally important invasive plants, by doing so you can also remove invasive plants on your property or prevent their spread.
- Only use non-invasive plants when working on landscaping your property, especially if your property borders natural areas.
- Use systemic herbicides carefully but only as a last resort to remove invasive plants.
- Let others know in your neighborhood about the invasive plants in your area and what too look out for.
Working with LCM PLUS will take all of the guesswork out of which species you are permitted to plant; We carefully plan & select each planting specifically for a project to best suit your property & lifestyle. Working with a proven professional like us means we will be there to work directly with you throughout the entire design and construction process and make your exterior landscaping visions a reality.
LCM PLUS invites you to browse our portfolio of work. Call, Click, or Visit our office! Our experienced professionals deliver trustworthy service held to the highest standard with impeccable attention to detail. LCM PLUS services include residential, commercial, and municipal projects.