Forestry team shares tips to combat southern Illinois invasive species in recent workshop

MURPHYSBORO, Ill.— Non-native invasive plants continue to increase in abundance and cause damage to the environment by changing the habitat for wildlife and native plants. They can outcompete our native species, reduce land productivity, and often spread quickly and aggressively. Through a recent workshop, Extension Forester Chris Evans and Forestry Research Technician Kevin Rohling shared tips to combat invasive species within the area. The forestry team discussed many invasives prevalent within southern Illinois, with some spreading at an alarming rate. Examples include autumn olive, bush honeysuckle, tree of heaven, garlic mustard, and Japanese chaff flower.

Throughout the program, Evans and Rohling discussed many treatment options for invasive plants. Large machinery may be the most cost-effective way to control some dense infestations of invasive trees and shrubs. Hand tools like battery-operated saws, loppers, pruners, or clippers can be effective on small infestations. Chemical and herbicide treatment should be used judiciously, with landowners taking proper care to read and follow safety instructions and wear personal protective equipment. The course of action to remove the undesirable species will vary based on the particular invasive. Evans said their goal is to promote safe, effective management techniques.

"We researched different techniques to try to find the best one for the different species out there. It's an issue that any landowner is going to have to deal with. Whether you have one acre or 500 acres, Invasive species are going to be a problem on that land, unfortunately."

With the increased presence of Japanese chaff flower, Illinois Extension and many other local partners will host a two-day event in August to learn more about the ecology, impacts, and management of this invasive plant. Learn more or register for this upcoming program at

WRITER: Heather Willis, marketing and communications coordinator,, (618) 357-2126

SOURCE: Chris Evans, Extension forester,, (618) 695-3383

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