Monthly Archives: January 2013

A new year brings a new invasive plant to Appalachia Ohio

A new offender is invading Appalachia Ohio. The offender’s painfully sharp prickles are known to cut into human and animal skin, earning it a nickname of “tearthumb”. Its aggressive growth of up to 6 inches a day should be a concern to any landowner in the area. The culprit: mile-a-minute vine (Polygonum perfoliatum).

Native to Eastern Asia, mile-a-minute vine was first introduced to Pennsylvania in the late 1930’s, contaminating a shipment of rhododendrons. Despite control efforts, mile-a-minute vine has become established in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia and now is expanding across the Ohio River into Ohio and is has currently been found in both Washington and Lawrence Counties.

5273092Growth of mile-a-minute vine is rapid and can easily crowd out native flowers, shrubs, and tree saplings or seedlings. This aggressive growth can prevent forest regeneration after timber harvest, interrupt Christmas tree farming, and has a potential to become a pest in plant nurseries and agricultural production. Spines along the stem and leaves can make a recreational walk through the forest painful and unpleasant. With the abundance of multiflora roses, briars, and brambles in Appalachia Ohio, the last thing the area needs is another plant covered with spines. If mile-a-minute vine is left alone and continues to spread and multiply it will hurt the economy of our region by impacting the timber industry, agricultural production, and recreation. Mile-a-minute vine aggressively invades fields, roadsides, right-of-ways, forest edges, open woodlands, stream banks, and moist meadows. Birds are the principal long distance carriers of seeds, although it has been found to be dispersed by ants, deer, chipmunks, and squirrels. Mile-a-minute fruit is able to maintain buoyancy for up to 7-9 days which allows long-distance travel downstream.

The best characteristics for identifying mile-a-minute vine are its distinctive equilateral triangular shaped leaves and downward facing spines covering the underside of leaves and stems. These spines will stick to clothing and tear at skin. The leaves are approximately 1-3 inches wide, green, waxy, and arranged alternately up the stem. Spaced along and surrounding the stems are cup shaped structures called ocreas. From these ocreas, small white flowers bloom that eventually develop into small, metallic blue fruits about the size of a pea.

To report sightings of mile-a-minute vine outside of Washington County, contact Eric Boyda at 740-534-6578 or More information about the control of mile-a-minute can be found here.

Using native plants in the landscape


 When: March 28, 2013 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Mulberry Community Center

260 Mulberry Avenue

Pomeroy, Ohio 45769

Guest Speakers:

Carolyn Summers – Keynote Speaker

“Gardens Filled With Life: Designing with Northeastern Flora”

Peter Heus

“Creating a Groundcover with Native Plants”

Eric Boyda

” Invasive Plants: More than a Weed”

Dr. Frank W. Porter

“Using Native Grasses and Sedges in the Landscape”

Hal Kneen

” Using Natives Doesn’t Make It Right”

Native plants are increasingly finding their way into our gardens. Sometimes, they are individual specimens that have been randomly stuck in amongst an array of non-native species. Who has not driven by a house with a large clump of Purple Coneflower surrounded by Cosmos, Petunias, and Marigolds? On other occasions, one can find a garden filled with a conglomeration of native plants, giving the appearance of an English cottage garden. There is a design and purpose to creating a native plant garden or restoring a land-scape to its natural setting. One must first learn to identify the species to be used and understand their growing requirements. Site preparation is essential to the survival of these plants. The design of the garden must take into consideration the proper combination of species to be used. And, once established in the garden, the gardener must know how to maintain the plants year to year.

Workshop registration costs $30.00 and the spots fill up quick.  Follow this link to learn more about the workshop and how to register! NativePlantWorkshop

Mapping your land: An overview for landowners

Auburn University has just released a new publication. This publication provides tutorials on multiple free programs that will help private landowners map and monitor their management projects. This looks like a great opportunity for private landowners to monitor their efforts to control invasives and help allocate limited resources.

Mapping your land: an overview for landowners

New invasive webinars

A message from Steven T. Manning, President of Invasive Plant Control, Inc.

Along with the many other free invasive species specific webinars at, this month we will begin two series hosted by Dr. Randy Westbrooks; Foreign Pest Exclusion at National Ports of Entry – The First Line of Defense against Introduced Invasive Species and Early Detection and Rapid Response – The Second Line of Defense against Introduced Invasive Species*. The schedule for these webinar series can be found in the attached document.

There are several other excellent webinars currently scheduled so we urge you to come back frequently to check out the new speakers and topics. To check out the calendar of talks and register go to Click on the ipcwebsolutions logo and using the calendar, click more details on the webinar you would like to register for.

Winter 2013 – Invasive Species Prevention Webinar/Training Workshop Series – Online and Onsite.

I. Foreign Pest Exclusion at National Ports of Entry – The First Line of Defense against Introduced Invasive Species*.
1. Session 1 – National Ports of Entry – Gate Keepers for International Commerce and Travel – Gateways for Introduction of Foreign Pests – or Not. Introduction and Overview. February 7th, 12:00 EST
2. Session 2 – Introduction to Invasive Species – Examples of the Worst Invaders, Ecological and Economic Impacts, and Major Pathways of Spread. February 14th, 12:00 EST
3. Session 3 – High Profile Invasive Species that are Spread in Global Commerce and Trade – Invasive Species that may be Encountered at Ports of Entry. February 21st, 12:00 EST
4. Session 4 – Invasive Species Management Hierarchy – Pre-border, Border, and Post-border Strategies for Invasive Species Management – Invasive Species Prevention, Preclearance, Exclusion, EDRR, and Control. February 28th, 12:00 EST
5. Session 5 – Prevention Measures for Minimizing Intentionally Introduced Species that become Invasive – Strategies for Addressing Authorized and Unauthorized Introductions. March 7th, 12:00 EST
6. Session 6 – Exclusion Measures for Minimizing Unintentional Introductions at Ports of Entry – Strategies for Addressing Hitchhikers and Contaminants Associated with Imported Commodities and Cargo. March 14th, 12:00 EST
7. Session 7 – Documentation of Foreign Pest Interceptions at Ports of Entry – Invasive Species Specimen Collection, Identification, and Preservation. March 28th, 12:00 EST
8. Session 8 – General Authority for Addressing Quarantine Significant Pests at Ports of Entry – Invasive Species Decision Making Tools and Their Application. April, 1st, 12:00 EST
9. Session 9 – Series Summary and Review – Foreign Pest Exclusion as a Major Element of a National Invasive Species Prevention Strategy. April 18th, 12:00 EST

*A Professional Development Training Series for Plant Quarantine Officers at National Ports of Entry, as well as other Invasive Species Field Managers (Online or Onsite).

II. Early Detection and Rapid Response – The Second Line of Defense against Introduced Invasive Species*.
1. Session 1 – The Landscape Approach to Early Detection and Rapid Response – A Cost Effective Strategy for Managing New Invasive Plants on Public and Private Land Units – Introduction and Overview. January 29th, 3:00 EST and March 5th, 12:00 EST
2. Session 2 – The Landscape Approach to Early Detection and Rapid Response –Strategies for Partnership Development. February 5th, 12:00 EST and March 12th, 12:00 EST
3. Session 3 – The Landscape Approach to Early Detection and Rapid Response –Survey, Detection, Data Management, and Reporting. February 12th, 12:00 EST and March 26th, 12:00 EST
4. Session 4 – The Landscape Approach to Early Detection and Rapid Response –Rapid Assessment of Confirmed new Exotic Species. February 26th, 12:00 EST and April 9th, 12:00 EST
5. Session 5 – The Landscape Approach to Early Detection and Rapid Response – Rapid Response to Confirmed New Invaders. March 5th, 12:00 EST and April 23rd, 12:00 EST

*A Professional Development Training Series for Land Owners and Managers at all Levels of the Landscape – Local to National (Onsite or Online).

New publicatio​n on the Identifica​tion of Japanese Stiltgrass with comparison​s to look-a-lik​e species

New japanese stiltgrass publication now available!

Paulownia is a royal pain!

The New Year is upon us and I can’t think of a better way to fulfill your resolution to lose weight than a walk through the woods.  While walking through the woods you might notice many plants that you don’t remember seeing during your early woodland adventures as a child.  One plant you may be seeing more of is Paulownia, or royal princess tree.

5273051Native to western China, paulownia or empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) was first introduced to the US in the early 1800’s as an ornamental for its showy sprigs of 1.5 to 2 inch tubular, pale violet flowers, which are present from April to May. Paulownia is also grown in large plantations in the South for speculative wood exports to Japan.

Growth of paulownia is rapid, reaching up to 15 feet in a single year.  A single tree can produce approximately 21 million light, papery, wind-dispersed seeds.  These seeds will germinate almost anywhere they contact trace amounts of soil, including cracks on steep cliffs and spaces between pavement. Rapid growth and high seed production allow paulownia to easily crowd out native plant species and disrupt desirable forest regeneration after timber harvest or other disturbances.  Displacement of native plants destroys habitat for wildlife and can diminish opportunities for 5022021outdoor recreational activities such as hunting, hiking, and bird watching. If paulownia continues to proliferate through landscape planting and escape into natural areas, there will be significant economic impacts to the timber industry, agricultural production, and recreation. 

In southern Ohio, paulownia commonly invades roadsides, riparian areas, forest edges, pasture, and disturbed forests. Continued planting of the tree as an ornamental has greatly expanded the area it is invading.  This spread is amplified by long range dispersal of seeds which can travel up to two miles in the wind.

Paulownia seed pods

Paulownia seed pods

Winter is a great time to identify population of paulownia because the 1 to 2 inch green seed capsules that formed during summer have turned brown and split open during last fall.  These opened capsules will remain on the tree throughout the winter. During the spring paulownia is also easily identified because of its showy display of flowers.  Leaves are heart shaped and velvety on both sides; attached opposite of each other along the stems; and can be up to 12 inches long and 9 inches wide, easily one of the bigger leaves found in the area.  Leaves look similar to those of catalpa trees, but catalpa leaves are only sparsely hairy on the upper leaf surface and are arranged in a whorl with three attached at the same position on the stem. If the look of paulownia is what you desire in your landscaping and gardening, consider using these better alternatives: Northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa), cucumbertree (Magnolia acuminate), or yellowwood (Cladrastis lutea).

Addtional information for the identification and control of paulownia can be found at at this link, additional questions can answered by contacting Eric Boyda at or 740-534-6578.

New App Lets You Report Invasive Species

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Now there’s a new tool for fighting alien invasions.

Your smart phone.

Ohio State University Extension has released a new app for spotting and tracking invasive species — non-native organisms such as Asian carps, purple loosestrife and Asian longhorned beetle — to try to keep them from setting up beachheads and hurting the economy and environment.

By using the free Great Lakes Early Detection Network app, a person can take pictures of suspected invasive species — whether of farm, forest or water — and upload the pictures and locations for verification.

Based on this early warning, scientists can send out alerts, map the spread and figure out a battle plan.

“Early detection gives us a greater chance of being able to handle infestations before they become so large that eradicating them isn’t possible or feasible,” said Kathy Smith, forestry program director for Ohio State University Extension and a co-developer of the app.

Data submitted by the app’s users goes into the web-based Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System, which tracks the location and spread of invasive species throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The app divides sightings into the general categories of plants (including trees, vines, shrubs, herbs, grasses and forbs such as wildflowers), fish, insects, mammals, mollusks, crustaceans and plant diseases.

The network covers the states of Ohio, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Aliens in the region already include cheatgrass, Chinaberry, round goby, garlic-mustard, tree-of-heaven, purple loosestrife, spiny water flea, emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, Eurasian water milfoil, and zebra and quagga mussels, to name a few. The network tracks them all and more.

Meanwhile, Asian carps, which are more than one species, including silver carp and bighead carp, are close to but not in the Great Lakes themselves yet. Scientists say the fishes’ impact on the lakes could be devastating.

The non-native emerald ash borer insect, for its part, has killed tens of millions of native ash trees throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada, has caused tens of millions of dollars in losses, and could wipe out every native ash in North America, according to a joint website by the U.S. Forest Service and several universities.

“Our native ecosystems are impacted in a variety of ways by non-native invasive species,” Smith said.

“Early detection gives scientists time to explore some of the unknowns about a species and come up with strategies for dealing with an infestation.”

Android users can download the app by going to and following the link to Google Play. An iPhone version is coming soon.

The app’s co-developers also included Eugene Braig, Marne Titchenell and Amy Stone, all of OSU Extension, and Chuck Bargeron of the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The Great Lakes Early Detection Network, according to its blog, “is a collaboration among multiple stakeholders working to rapidly respond to new invasive species sightings in the Great Lakes states. To accomplish this, we have developed a web-based alert system that emails users when new sightings for species or areas of interest are entered into our member data management systems.”

Follow the network’s blog at