Invasive Species

What is an invasive species?

An invasive species enters a foreign habitat. The invasive species we are concerned with have a negative effect on the ecosystem. They disrupt the native habitat because they lack the checks and balances to stop them.

How did they get here?

Invasive species can come to an area in many ways. They can be brought over as an ornamental, for food, or by accident. The established invasive species overshadowed native species by having a longer seasonal growth cycle or being more aggressive than the native species within their niche.

How can we get rid of them?

Persistent control measures can remove invasive species and we need your help.

Learn how to remove some of the prominent invasive plants in Vermont by clicking on the image:

BuckthornBuckthorn. Brought over from Europe as hedging material, Buckthorn is a shrub that grows on forest edges. It blooms early and keeps its leaves late into the fall, restricting the sunlight for native vegetation and preventing native trees and shrubs from growing in the understory.


poison parsnip by Kristine SchaeferPoison Parsnip. A root vegetable from Europe and Asia that has escaped cultivation, poison parsnip now takes over open fields and roadsides. This plant can be very poisonous. The sap from the leaves can cause boils in the presence of sunlight.



HoneysuckleHoneysuckle. Native to parts of Asia, the honeysuckle shrub was brought to America as an ornamental. Their shallow and stretching roots and their long foliage period allow them to take over the native vegetation.



Purple Loosestrife by Liz WestPurple Loosestrife. A purple flower native to Europe, purple loosestrife invades wetlands and ditches. It produces millions of seeds every summer and soon takes over the entire ecosytem, choking out other plants. Since it is not a good food source for any wildlife, the wildlife gets pushed out with the native plants.


garlic mustardGarlic Mustard. A biannual flowering plant for Europe and Western Asia, garlic mustard was brought over for food. It has escaped cultivation and is taking over forest ground-cover habitat. It secretes a chemical to prevent beneficial bacteria so it can kill off the native vegetation.


Water Chestnut by Mike NaylorWater Chestnut. From China, water chestnut is a deadly invader in only the Southern half of Lake Champlain. It provides little nutritional value and blocks sunlight from entering the lake since it grows as thick mats on the surface.