Here in the southeastern U.S. we are fortunate to have a number of evergreen plants during the winter. Not all of those plants are native, of course, and a few of those non-native ones are even invasive. Since evergreen plants really stand out in the winter, now is a good time to work on removing the invasive ones while you can see them clearly.
I find six evergreen invasive plants in my area:
- Two species of Asian privet (the small-leaved Ligustrum sinense and wax-leaf Ligustrum japonicum),
- English ivy (Hedera helix),
- Two species of autumn olive (tardily deciduous autumn olive Elaeagnus umbellata and thorny olive Elaeagnus pungens),
- Grape holly (Mahonia bealei, which is blooming now with yellow flowers),
- Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica, which has visible fruit now),
- Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica).
|Mahonia bealei flowering when |
no native bees are out
If they are too large to pull, you can cut them or cut into their bark to reveal the cambium layer and carefully apply (consider using a foam paintbrush) a bit of brush killer on the stump or cut area. At the very least, remove any berries on the plant and mark the plants with some bright string or flagging tape (available at home improvement stores) so that you can come back to remove them properly when you have help. Bag up any berries and place them in the trash.
I've removed dozens and dozens of seedlings from my property over the last 16 years. If I hadn't, I'd have lots of each of these six groups growing in my yard. How do they get here? Mostly by way of birds but other animals might carry in some seeds ... all of it pooped out along the way. Every seedling you and I remove means not just that plant is gone but all its future progeny.
Interested in identifying other invasive plants? This is a good website – detailed photos for identification and links to learn more about methods of control for invasive plants found in Georgia. Plants are listed both by common name and by scientific name – use your browser’s “Find” function to search for what you’re looking for (but be aware that the common name be not be the same as what you know it as, so search by scientific name if possible).
|Silvery backside is a good way|
to identify the leaf of Elaeagnus pungens