As someone who works in the land care business, I sometimes feel as though I’m caught in an endless game of whack-a-mole. Between spotted lantern flies and jumping worms, from knotweed to tree-of-heaven, who needs Halloween or a scary movie? I wonder: Are there more systematic, less fatiguing ways to think about the problem of invasive plants? (Link above.)
"What's in a name?" A fictional young woman named Juliet once asked that question. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," she says.
But what if the rose is a non-native invasive plant?
“Multiflora rose is an aggressive, stubborn landscape invader with recurved thorns along the green stems,” says Rose Hiskes, a diagnostician at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and co-chair of the Connecticut Invasive Plants Working Group (CIPWG). “And it’s a state-listed invasive plant.”
They were innocent-looking seedlings in June, but by the end of August, most weeds are like toddlers on a tantrum—you can't ignore them. Japanese stiltgrass, mugwort, and more all seem to say, "In your face, weed whacker.”
These unwanted plants are irritating and inconvenient, but their damage extends far beyond the emotions of landowners who wish the weeds would just go away. Unfortunately, invasive plant management is a year-round job and a sometimes perplexing one.