Invasive Plants in Ann Arbor
Are any of these plants in your yard?
There are 3 invasive plants that I encounter regularly while working and spending time outdoors in Ann Arbor. Buckthorn, Honeysuckle, and Oriental Bittersweet spread quickly while choking out many of the existing plants. These 3 plants vary greatly in appearance but share the common trait of producing massive amounts of berries each fall. These berries spread short distances quickly but are also moved longer distances after being eaten by animals.
Aside from altering natural areas by diminishing plant diversity, these plants can be an absolute nuisance in a residential landscape. A single buckthorn tree will create dozens of other plants. If allowed to grow for a few years, they'll be 5 - 10ft tall and difficult to remove. Cutting buckthorn and honeysuckle down to the ground will stop them from spreading temporarily but they both grow back vigorously.
Bittersweet is a vine that twists around anything it can find. The vines leaf out and will cover trees with shade. The vines can be cut at the base but are nearly impossible to remove from trees once they've wrapped themselves around branches. This can turn an otherwise nice tree into an eyesore for a long time.
Keeping plants like these from taking over woodlands is a difficult and complicated task. Fortunately smaller areas are easier to manage. With proactive weed pulling, home landscapes can thrive and ornamental plants wont have to compete with plants like honeysuckle and buckthorn.
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