Invasives are plants, vines, shrubs and trees, that are spreading in such a way that they deprive whole areas of their natural vegetation. Many invasives are exotic plants, introduced as ornamentals for our gardens, or by accident, brought here from another continent. Most of these exotic species have little or no relationship with our wildlife and have no natural predators, so they can spread undisturbed. It can take hundreds of years before insects and animals adapt to these species. Invasives cause loss of biodiversity, habitat degradation and other ecological and economical disasters. Invasive can be invasive in some areas, yet modest or non existent in others, depending on their specific needs.
The strategy we need to fight these invasives is basically the same as the strategy against garden weeds. Yet invasives require more urgent and immediate action, because of their rate of spread. Homeowners, municipalities and park managers should be aware of the most invasive plants in their area. Here are some of the more common problematic invasive plants in the northeast: