Identifying Woody Invasives in the Fall
If you’re having a tough time identifying or separating woody invasive species from natives, late fall may be the best time to take action. When most native trees and shrubs have lost their colorful leaves, invasive species like buckthorn and honeysuckle tend to remain green longer, continuing photosynthesis and storing additional sugars for winter.
However, this competitive advantage gives you an additional opportunity to identify and control these forest invaders. The tenancy of woody plants to move material downward to their roots in the fall also works to move systemic herbicide to the roots, improving the odds of successful control. Nothing quite like using invasive species’ strengths to defeat them! Be sure to check out the Midwest Invasive Plant Network’s Control Database to choose the best approach for your situation. Also, if you’re working with fruiting plants, be very careful not to move fruits and seeds off-site!
Written by Clair Ryan, Midwest Invasive Plant Network Coordinator, October 2018