What is an invasive species?
An invasive species enters or “invades” a foreign habitat. Invasive species have a negative effect on ecosystem by disrupting the native habitat, as they lack the checks and balances that control populations of native species.
How did they get here?
Invasive species can come to an area in many ways. They can be brought over as an ornamental plant, for food, or by accident. Many invasive plant species overshadow native species by having a longer seasonal growth cycle or being more aggressive than the native species that live in the same habitat.
How can we get rid of them?
Persistent control measures can remove invasive species. The Lake Champlain Land Trust and its dedicated volunteers are working hard to control invasive plants on our natural areas.
Learn how to remove some of the prominent invasive plants in Vermont by clicking on the image:
Buckthorn. 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. 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.
Honeysuckle. 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. 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 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. Garlic mustard also prevent beneficial soil bacteria from growing, negatively impacting nearly native plants.
Water Chestnut. From China, water chestnut is a persistent invader in the southern part of Lake Champlain. It provides little nutritional value and blocks sunlight from entering the lake since it grows as thick mats on the surface.