Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Keep an eye out for invasive plants this spring!

A great new  post from the Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month blog!

Springtime provides a great opportunity to find and report several invasive species.  Since many of our native trees and shrubs have not yet starting to leaf out, invasive species with either early leaf growth of early flowering can be easily found. 

Here in Illinois, we have two websites where people can both view invasive species distribution maps and contribute new reports.  In the Chicago region, the New Invaders Watch Program tracks invasive species that are moving in to that region.  Reports of the target species can be entered at www.newinvaders.org.  The Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS, www.eddmaps.org) developed by the University of Georgia, covers the entire state and all invasive plant species.  This system has thousands of records for many different invasive plant occurrences in Illinois.  Even with all of these records, the maps produced on this site can be incomplete, especially for new invaders.  Adding your observations can help us have a more accurate picture of the distribution of invasive species and will aid in planning, prioritizing and controlling species. 

Here are three species that are particularly visible in early spring.

Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana)

This species, often better known by the name of one of its ornamental varieties, Bradford pear, is starting to be found escaping throughout Illinois.  Because it grows in open areas and flowers much earlier than most other shrubs, it is extremely easliy found at this time of year.....more


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