Blog Archives

Burning Bush: Beauty IS the beast

Check out this video about burning bush.

A burning problem: burning bush

bbush1Burning bush, Euonymus alatus is a deciduous shrub that grows to 6-20 feet tall and wide.  Despite its invasive nature, it is widely available in the nursery industry and wildly popular with homeowners.  Burning bush is fast growing and easy to spread.   Burning bush can be an attractive hedge or foundation shrub in the yard, but it will also invade a variety of natural sites including high quality woodlands, wetlands and even prairies.  Once established, it forms dense thickets that displace native species and hinder natural succession.  Burning bush is native to Asia and was first introduced into the US in the 1860’s for its red fall color.  It continues to be sold and planted as an ornamental, even though it is considered one of the top invasive exotic species in the Midwest to avoid by most experts.

WHY SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
bbush
It has been widely planted as an ornamental for its spectacular red autumn foliage, fruits and for its tolerance to salt.  It spreads from seed, is dispersed by birds and colonizes by root suckers.  It thrives in the shade where it displaces spring wildflowers and other natives.  It is a very adaptable plant and can thrive in a variety of sites, wreaking havoc on a variety of native ecosystems.

MANAGEMENT OPTIONS
Seedlings and young plants can be hand-pulled when the soil is moist to insure removal of the roots system.  The shallow and fibrous root systems can be removed with a spading fork and pulled with a weed wrench.  On larger plants cutting alone results in thicker, more dense re-growth.  Cutting should only be followed by painting the stump with a herbicide.

It can be effectively controlled using any of several readily available herbicides such as glyphosate (RoundUp),  tryclopyr or imazapyr.  Foliar application has proven effective in controlling these species, but requires more herbicide and can have greater impacts to non-target species.    By cutting the shrubs and painting just the stumps, burning bush and many other invasive exotics can be controlled using less chemicals.  Always read and follow the product label and understand Federal and State requirements.

While burning bush is an attractive plant, there are many more, more attractive native shrubs.  When considering planting, select native plants.  Native plants are adapted to local conditions and will usually do better over time than non-native species.  They also provide additional ecological benefits in addition to adding color and character to the yard.  There are several native plants available in nurseries with vibrant red fall color.  These include Virginia sweetspire, some viburnums, some serviceberries, black gum, Virginia creeper, hazelnut and currants.

Article by Ann Bonner

USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS.

Identification and Management of Invasive Knotweeds

Techline  Invasive Plant News 09.07.2013 – Learn distinctive identification features for four invasive knotweeds and treatment recommendations based on current research.

http://techlinenews.com/articles/2013/identification-and-management-of-invasive-knotweeds?utm_content=appalachianohioweeds%40gmail.com&utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=Identification%20and%20Management%20of%20Invasive%20Knotweeds%26nbsp%3B&utm_campaign=TechLine%20Invasive%20Plant%20News%3A%20FALL%202013content

Jackson: Tree of Heaven not heavenly

Article from Jackson, Ohio about Tree of Heaven from the Telegram

http://www.thetelegramnews.com/main.asp?SectionID=6&SubSectionID=83&ArticleID=18952

REMOVAL OF INVASIVE SPECIES IN CLEVELAND METROPARKS BECOMES ART INSTALLATION IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SPACES GALLERY

http://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/Main/EventsProgramsCalendar/1822.aspx

http://www.spacesgallery.org/project/retro-reflections-on-sculpting-nature

The removal of an invasive plant species is not normally considered art, but a unique partnership between Cleveland Metroparks and SPACES Gallery is about to change that.

    Japanese-born artist Mimi Kato, a SPACES World Artist Program resident, created a participatory art installation at Sunset Pond in the North Chagrin Reservation that coincides with the Park District’s removal of the invasive species glossy buckthorn.

    To create the exhibit, Cleveland Metroparks Invasive Plant Management Crew used power and hand tools to remove large quantities of buckthorn shrubs around Sunset Pond. As the buckthorn was removed, Kato used reflective tape to represent each buckthorn stem, creating a one-of-a-kind outdoor art installation that will be visible from across the pond along the trail next to the pond.

    The exhibit will be in place from August 23 through October 17. To experience the installation, visitors must bring a flashlight or headlamp to the park in the evening. The exhibit is meant to be viewed by putting the flashlight next to your eyes and aiming it across the water to see lights reflected back by the tape. Each light represents a buckthorn plant that crew members cut and treated with herbicide.

    As Kato moved around the U.S. over the past six years, she noticed something strange: an abundance of plant life she recognized from her birthplace in Nara, Japan. Plants like Japanese knotweed, glossy buckthorn and kudzu made new landscapes unexpectedly familiar to her. Over time, Kato learned that these plants are extremely problematic invasive species in the U.S., disturbing the health and diversity of ecosystems. She was fascinated by the fact that plants she knew to be useful became damaging simply by being in the wrong place.

    Her work in both Cleveland Metroparks and SPACES highlights one of the most problematic invasive plants in the region, glossy buckthorn, and the efforts of invasive plant control crews to maintain an ecological balance in the Park District. The project allows the audience to appreciate the sheer volume of invasive species that threaten the ecological health of our region and aims to start a dialogue to discuss what impact we have on our surroundings and what role we want to play in creating our daily landscapes.

    Sunset Pond is located next to North Chagrin Nature Center, off Buttermilk Falls Parkway, off the Sunset Lane entrance of North Chagrin Reservation, off SOM Center Road/Route 91 in Mayfield Village. For more information, call 440-473-3370.

Kudzu: The Vine that Ate the…North?

DSCF0042Kudzu (Pueraria montana) has long been known as “the vine that ate the south”.  In recent years, however, it has been gaining a foothold in Ohio.  There are currently more than 60 known locations in the state.  Although the majority of these areas are located in southern Ohio, it can be found across the entire state from Lawrence to Cuyahoga County.  Twenty-two counties are known to have populations of this invasive vine, revealing that cold winters aren’t enough to keep it at bay.

Kudzu was introduced to the United States in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition to be planted in its Japanese Garden area.  The large bright green leaves and showy purple flowers quickly led to its use in the horticultural industry, and in the 1930s it was widely planted for erosion control.  From there, its use as livestock forage was discovered, leading to plantings throughout the south to feed cattle.  Ohio has recently joined at least 14 other states in adding kudzu to the state’s noxious weed list.

kudzu irontonThis is a species that poses many threats to our Ohio woodlands.  Kudzu has been shown to have very rapid growth rates (up to a foot a day), and can take over large areas of land relatively quickly.  This vine will grow over anything it encounters, including trees, killing them over time.  Kudzu is very aggressive and can quickly cover an area, blocking sunlight to all native plants.  Once established in an area, kudzu is very difficult to control.  Early detection and removal is the best method for getting rid of it.

glacier2010 486Kudzu has large compound leaves with three leaflets per leaf.  Each of the three leaflets is three to seven inches long and will often have lobes.  Flowers are generally present from June to September, and are two to 12 inch long bright purple clusters similar to pea flowers.  The fruit is present from September to January, and consists of flat, tan, hairy seed pods up to three inches long.  Each seed pod can have three to ten hard seeds.  The young vines are covered with fine yellowish hairs, and the older vines can get up to four inches in diameter.  The main method of spread for kudzu is through above ground runners, although it can also spread by seed.

More information on the control of kudzu can be found at http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pumo1.htm. You can also contact Eric Boyda of the Appalachian Ohio Weed Control Partnership by phone at 740-534-6578 or email at appalachianohioweeds@gmail.com.  Article by Stephanie Downs

Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative Webinar Series

The Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative webinar series has focused on invasive Phragmites in the Great Lakes region to encourage dialogue and technology transfer throughout the region. This series will include topics such as: Current research on Phragmites control, management techniques and case studies, monitoring and assessment protocols, mapping and tracking and regional management initiatives. Much of the information can help us understand phragmites management in southeast Ohio.

To access their past recordings, click on this link:

http://greatlakesphragmites.net/webinars-presentations/

IPC invasive plant webinar series archive

I wanted to direct everyone to a valuable series of previously recorded invasive plant webinars.  Content covered can be important to anyone, including private landowners, all the way up to regional managers of invasive plants.  Check it out if you have some time.  http://www.ipcwebsolutions.com/outreach.htm

Phenology update: Garlic Mustard

100_3393Garlic mustard – Alliaria petiolata; Basal rosettes have normally grown enough to be easily spotted now.  The garlic mustard in this photo is particularly robust.  Also notice the Johnson grass in the background, and ground ivy in the front.

Beauty becomes the beast

5479587Have you been wondering what the dense stands of attractive purple flowers are that you’ve been seeing along roadsides and wet areas? It is probably purple loosestrife, a quite attractive plant.  However, beneath this superficial beauty lies an aggressive, untamable beast.  If left uncontrolled, purple loosestrife will take over our remaining wetlands.

Native to Europe and Asia, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) was speculated to be first introduced to the United States from colonial settlers as ship ballast was unloaded from their sailing ships.  Additionally, horticulturists imported seeds for landscaping and gardens.

Purple loosestrife grows in dense stands along waterways and wetlands, choking out native wetland species.  Thick growth can reduce water flow by clogging drainage ditches. With a seed production as high as 2 million per plant, the ability to reproduce from fragments of its stem, and a high tolerance to water and variability to soils it has spread across most of the United States and can be found in many areas in Ohio.  Once established, an individual plant can often live as long as 20 years.

5445973Showy magenta to purplish flowers with 5-7 petals on long 4- 18 inch spikes makes this an easy plant to identify from July to September. Leaves are attached to the stem in sets of two or three.  Stems typically have 4 or 6 sides and are slightly hairy.  In the fall, leaves turn vibrant red in color. Plants often have up to 50 stems of up to 8 feet tall, with the whole plant sometimes as wide as 5 feet. No other wetland plants will create dense stands and have purplish flowers.

5479722Ohio regulations prohibit the sale of purple loosestrife without a special permit from the Director of the Department of Agriculture.  Although some sterile varieties of purple loosestrife are available, they often produce viable seeds when cross pollinated with other cultivars.  If the look of purple loosestrife is what you want for your landscape, play it safe and consider using these native alternatives: Blazing stars (Liatris spp.), bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), swamp verbena (Verbena hastata), joe-pye weed (Eutrochium fistulosum), and cardinalflower (Lobelia cardinalis).

You can find additional information here: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/lysa1.htm.  If you are interested in volunteering to map purple loosestrife this summer or have any additional questions contact Eric Boyda at appalachianohioweeds@gmail.com or 740-534-6578.