by Hal Gray
GREENSBORO – Will Marlier gave an illustrated talk, October 24, at the Greensboro Free Library on invasive plants in Greensboro.
Marlier began by citing the U.S. Department of Agriculture definition of invasive species as “an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.”
A member of Greensboro’s Conservation Commission, Marlier spent the summer surveying and mapping Greensboro’s invasive plants. He believes such plants can be found on everyone’s land. His talk, including many helpful photos, focused on five plants: goutweed, honeysuckle, wall lettuce, buckthorn, and Japanese Knotweed. Marlier also cited helpful resources for further information, including vtinvasives.org which brings up “Gallery of Terrestrial Plants” leading to photos and detailed information including downloadable fact sheets on about 50 invasive plants in Vermont.
Japanese Knotweed is a particular problem at this time, as noted in an October 26 “News & Citizen” article because the July flooding may have spread the plant further from the riverbanks where it often takes hold. It can spread through a stem or rhizome (root-like stem) from a fragment less than an inch long and be very difficult to get rid of. After its removal, knotweed can be piled to dry several years until dead. It should not be thrown in the dump immediately says Marlier because it will simply re-establish itself. Many invasive plants have common characteristics including they may produce many seeds, their seeds may germinate earlier and keep their leaves later, they may have come to Vermont without the pests and diseases that limited their growth in their native environments, and they may grow so quickly that their spread eliminates the diversity of species that once grew on that site.
Marlier gave his contact information email@example.com if people had questions or could report any invasives they identify in Greensboro.