Spring Invasive and Problematic Plants in the Landscape

With the warmer weather, things are starting to green up.  Our landscapes are coming back to life with the showy displays of new plant growth and flowers.  But are all those the plants you expected and want? Are there plants taking over your landscape, timber, or open areas? Some of these are best managed during the spring and early summer.

Join Illinois Extension Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy Educator Jay Solomon for a spring discussion on problematic and invasive plants on May 24 at the Jo Daviess County Extension Office.  The workshop will be offered as an afternoon session starting at 1:30 p.m. and an evening session starting at 7 p.m. There is a $5 fee to attend the program and pre-registration is requested. To register or for more information please visit us online at go.illinois.edu/jsw or call us at 815-858-2273.

“It is important to distinguish between the problematic plants and invasive plants,” Solomon points out. “Invasive plants by definition are non-native, introduced by humans and do/can cause environmental or economic harm. Nuisance plants are defined as causing management issues or other damage. Many native plants can become a nuisance in disturbed soils of landscapes and other areas.”

The primary focus of this spring workshop will be on vegetative plants easily identified and controlled prior to developing seeds.  Many of these can be spotted by their prolific early season growth.  Garlic mustard, cow parsnip, wild parsnip, Pokeweed, hemlock, some ground covers and vines are a few examples.  We will discuss what makes some of them of concern as invasives, while others are just making a nuisance of themselves.  

During the workshop, we will delve into identification, management strategies, and safety precautions.  Cow parsnip, wild parsnip, and hemlock can be harmful or even deadly if handled improperly. 

The wet, cold spring has also made it easier to identify many of the woody invasive plants such as honeysuckle, and multiflora rose.  We will talk about some ways to identify these from more desirable plants such as blackberry, raspberry, and gooseberry brambles.  Then you can start developing a fall management plan for the woody invasive plants.

This workshop is meant to delve a little deeper than the previous one that was held in November. Although, even if you did not attend the November workshop you will not be lost and we strongly encourage you to attend if you have invasive and problematic plants!