We hear a lot about invasive insects like the Spotted Lantern Fly and Emerald Ash Borer that decimate (or have the potential to) trees in native and agricultural habitats. As we have learned in part of our Environmental Educational Series, invasive plants can be just as destructive to our native ecosystems. Fall is the time where a lot of these plants are setting fruit and seed. When birds and other critters eat these seeds and fruits they spread and invade natural, agricultural, and residential areas. This on its surface may not seem like a scenario that is all that bad, but when you consider all the pesticides and tax payer dollars that go into eradicating these weeds and other plants, the issue becomes a little more clear. Tree of heaven (host plant of Spotted Lantern Fly), multiflora rose, burning bush, Japanese barberry, Russian and autumn olive are just a few of the invasive species that are setting fruit now and thus spread by wildlife at this time. If you see these plants growing in your property, steps can be taken to reduce spread – removal or pruning/cutting back to remove flowers/fruit.
This is also a time to consider some fall planting with native plants that are perfect for birds and pollinators!
Yarrow, bee balm, milk weeds, phlox, black eyed susan, coneflower, aster, goldenrod, foam flower, joe pye weed, tickseed, sunflower, beard tongue, columbine, gayfeather, serviceberry, blueberry, snakeroot, paw paw, button bush, new jersey tea, redbud, flowering dogwood, spicebush, summer sweet, and coral honeysuckle are good choices.
Be sure to meet with us every 4th Monday to discuss the environmental issues that are concerning you in our township, state, and beyond!