Unwelcome Guests: Invasive Plants
An invasive plant is a plant that is both non-native (does not occur in an area naturally) and able to establish on many sites, grow quickly, and spread to the point of disrupting plant communities or ecosystems. Many invasive plants were intentionally brought to the United States for ornamental purposes, and some to attack agricultural problems such as erosion, pests or diseases.
A species can be introduced to a new locality in many ways, either deliberately, such as to enhance our gardens or for medicinal use, or accidentally such as contaminants in shipping. Scientists still do not fully understand why some species become invasive and others do not.
The Maine Natural Areas Program maintains a list of non-native plants found to pose a threat to habitats and natural resources in Maine. The Advisory List is an informal tool for landowners, wildlife biologists, foresters, land stewards, conservation commissions, and others interested in controlling invasive plants and preventing their spread.
Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District (KLSWCD) offers technical services to landowners including invasive plant identification and management plan development. In partnership with the KLSWCD, the Land Trust conducted inventories in the summer of 2021 at the Ash Point and Langlais Sculpture Preserves. The information gathered will be used to create invasive species management plans to identify where we can reduce invasives, help protect our local biodiversity, and help build climate resilience.
Additional invasives inventories are being conducted at the Weskeag Headlands and Eagles Way Preserves (October 4th and 6th, respectively) to update management plans. Learn to identify invasives while volunteering for these inventories by contacting Irene Flynn, Stewardship Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.