Non-native invasive plants pose a major threat to trees.  These are plants that have been introduced to our ecosystem and outcompete our natives to the detriment of our native flora.  There are invasive trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and herbs – over 90 of them have been identified in Virginia alone.

All these invasives have negative impacts. They compete with our natives for water, space, nutrients and sunlight.  Additionally, invasive vines can physically strangle and kill our native shrubs and trees, and with their extra weight up high in the canopy, can topple them.

In order to protect your trees and other native plants from this threat, you need to know how to identify and manage them. Tree Stewards offer classes, provide speakers, make available written matter at our event tables and hold invasive removal projects throughout the area, where you can learn by doing. Work at our projects is typically a half-day and supervised by experienced invasive removal practitioners. We provide hand tools when needed and train our volunteers on tool and forest safety. We work side-by-side with our volunteers. Volunteers who are under 18 years old need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

To learn more about invasive plant threats to our trees and other native plants, refer to the Blue Ridge PRISM’s factsheets, covering the “terrible twelve” invasives in our area and their basic control methods at:

  • Autumn Olive
  • Garlic Mustard
  • Japanese Honeysuckle
  • Japanese Stiltgrass
  • Kudzu
  • Mile-a-Minute
  • Multiflora Rose
  • Oriental Bittersweet
  • Porcelainberry
  • Chinese Privet
  • Tree of Heaven
  • Wavyleaf Grass

To learn how to control invasive plants by manual, mechanical and biological means and effectively and safely with herbicides by taking one of our Tree Basics Classes held on zoom twice a year.  View the Virginia Department of Forestry Herbicide Recommendation Chart  which summarizes the best time of year and methods for mechanical and chemical control of invasive plants.

English Ivy -ID and Removal: For individuals whose trees and other plants are under attack by English ivy vines, please click HERE for a factsheet.