An invasive species is one that is not native to a given ecosystem. Invasive species cause economic and environment harm, and can even be detrimental to human health. These species grow at very fast rates and can displace native species. Some examples are the autumn olive, kudzu, chinese privet, and mimosa.
Make sure a plant is not invasive before buying and planting! Soil, insects, equipment, and pine straw all contribute to the spread of invasive species. It is important to clean and inspect all equipment used at or near infested sites.
Georgia Forestry Commission advises: “Herbicides can be used to effectively control both large and small infestations. Use herbicides carefully. Many herbicides are not selective and will kill all surrounding vegetation or may harm aquatic systems. Before buying, mixing, and use of herbicides, read and follow label information and wear the appropriate safety gear. Contact your county extension agent for specific recommendations on herbicide use. Detailed information about chemical control options can be found at www.invasive.org.”
Here are some key indicators to look for:
Branches – Living branches are easy to bend. If the branches snap, they are dead.
Leaf Color – The leaf color should match the season it is in.
Insects – Check for visible insects on the tree.
Bare Patches – For Evergeen trees, look for sections of the tree without leaves year round. Some causes of bare patches are: animals eating leaves, pesticide damage, nutrients and water not reaching the branches