Invasives in the News

December 7, 2015

For some time there have been reports of “hot spots” of red pine mortality across our region.  An effort funded by the US Forest Service and led by a graduate student from UNH is looking into the situation and beginning to find some clues.  While the team continues to look at a variety of possible causal agents, one result of this research is that red pine scale (RPS) has been...

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December 7, 2015

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), native to Eastern Asia, was introduced to North America in the late 1800s as an ornamental plant. This plant is found in most U.S. states, and many countries worldwide, exhibiting invasive behavior outside of Asia*.

Japanese knotweed was identified in Vermont as early as the 1920s**. In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont...

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December 3, 2015

For years, Didymosphenia geminata (Didymo, for short) has been on many states’ high-priority aquatic invasive species lists. Didymo, a freshwater diatom, has the potential to form dense mats on stream and river bottoms, making...

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December 1, 2015

Clint McFarland didn’t want to believe the pictures he was looking at on his smartphone.
A Worcester, Mass., neighborhood before ALB-infested tree removal

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November 23, 2015

"BOISE, Idaho — 

Finding a way to stop fire-prone cheatgrass and other invasive species is unavoidable if sagebrush ecosystems in the West are to remain viable for native plants and animals, experts say.

More than 200 federal and state land managers and scientists trying to figure out how to do that took part in the three-day 2015 Western Invasive Weed Summit that wrapped up...

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November 19, 2015

"Going for a walk the other day along a public trail I was struck by the number of invasive shrubs I saw. Most trees and shrubs have shed their leaves, but burning bush (Euonymus alatus), Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) and honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) still have leaves on their branches. Holding leaves and producing food by photosynthesis gives them extra energy to take over the world...

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October 27, 2015


SHELBURNE CENTER, Massachusetts — It was only a year ago that Norman and Lisa Davenport first noticed sunlight flickering through the once-dense shade of a stand of hemlocks on their hilltop farmland.

And now those first trees look more like utility poles than conifers.

As the twin evils of elongate hemlock scale and hemlock woolly adelgid spread...

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October 20, 2015

Over 30 participants attended the recent 4th Annual Vermont Tree Stewards Conference to explore that question and many more on how to keep our trees and communities healthy. Held at the historic Holly Hall in Bristol, this conference provided an educational and networking opportunity for the stewards of Vermont's urban trees and community forests.

Patrick Olstad, Landscape Architect...

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October 14, 2015

In New England, right around the start of autumn, many folks begin to adorn their front doors, fences, and yards with seasonal decorations. Pumpkins, bales of hay, stalks of corn, and a staple in the seasonal traditions, bittersweet. Wreathes and sprigs of these beautiful berries are sold along country roads, and at farmers markets, and are a tempting natural décor option. This plant is...

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October 12, 2015

The winter of 2014-2015 was tough on hemlock woolly adelgid; 97 to 99 percent of the sistens, or winter, generation died.  The previous winter had similar winter mortality rates.  This helped to give hemlock trees a bit of a reprieve.  But, while these recent mortality rates have been high enough to temporarily stop the spread of HWA, the trees are still...

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October 5, 2015

By Mark Wedel

Vic Bogosian has an 18,000-strong army--or, rather, air-force--of wasps, and he's looking for more draftees. They're fighting an enemy of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, the emerald ash borer, an invasive species from China that has been wiping out an important part of Michigan's Native American culture, the ash tree.

"The bugs here yet?" the...

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October 1, 2015

"Students and faculty managing the Ithaca College Natural Lands are in the process of removing what they hope is the last of an invasive species of plant known as Japanese stiltgrass after six years of sustained eradication efforts. On Sept. 26, the group cleared out a majority of the remaining stiltgrass.

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September 27, 2015

Mattapoisett — In 2013, at least 1,000 European flies were released into Nasketucket Bay State Reservation with the hopes that they would spread throughout the area. Awesome, right?

It may not sound like good news, but these flies have a very specific job to do: take down the winter moth population.

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September 25, 2015

"Bittersweet — it's the perfect name for a plant that has some lovely qualities but is also a terrible menace. Many people are familiar with this plant because it has been used for autumn decorations. It grows as a vine with an orange-red berry enclosed in a bright yellow casing.

The supple twisting stem and colorful berries make the bittersweet ideal for creating a fall wreath to hang...

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September 16, 2015

"STERLING - There is a swath of grass cut on the edge of a field at Michael Pineo's farm about one-and-a-half highway lanes wide, but even that does not protect the field from one of Central Massachusetts' most challenging invaders.

"It still spreads everywhere," he said, pointing to tree-sized bushes of autumn olive - plants once used for roadside stabilization but now are an invasive...

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