Home landscapes: benefits and risks beyond the property line

There are parks full of Chinese privet and bush honeysuckle. But not so long ago, gardeners bought these plants at garden centers assuming they would be good for the home landscape. Now they are deemed invasive, and harmful to the ecology. As gardeners, we want to be good stewards of the land, but what does that entail? How much should it limit plant choices? Must we only plant natives?

Gardener Extras

  1. For a list of invasive plant species and suitable replacements, visit tnipc.org (TN Invasive Plant Council).
  2. In Tennessee, Steve and Matt identify Chinese privet as the worst threat; Richard says bush honeysuckle; and Troy says Callery pear.
  3. Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Assoc., founded in 1905, is an organization in which nursery and related industries can share ideas, foster research and educate. TNLA.com
  4. PYRUS calleryana (Callery/Bradford pear) has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. A recommended replacement is AMELANCHIER spp. (Serviceberry tree)
  5. Characteristics that make a non-native become invasive: early leafing out, fast growth and a lack of natural enemies.
  6. Steve has seen 100 acres of forest floor covered with MAHONIA bealei (Leatherleaf mahonia). Its listed in the Invasive Plant Atlas of the U.S. An alternative is ARONIA melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry).
  7. tnipc.org/landscaping/#primer This Homeowners Invasive Plant Primer provides guidance on identification and control techniques, plus post-treatment replanting.

Gardener Notes

https://www.invasiveplantcontrol.com/ Steven Manning, President wildones.org Richard Hitt, Pres of Middle TN chapter https://www.naturalcreationsllc.com/ Matt Dawson, Owner

Julie Berbiglia,Troy B. Marden

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