Invasive plants and trees have been on the radar of naturalists, environmentalists and gardeners for quite some time, and efforts to inform the public of this important topic are ongoing. Local experts are helping to not only raise awareness, but also assist local homeowners to create their own native plant gardens.
WHAT, EXACTLY, ARE INVASIVE PLANTS?
“Invasive plants are those which are nonnative to an area and are known to cause harm to the environment, economy, or human health,” said Amy Jewitt, invasive species coordinator, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. “Once introduced into a new environment, invasive plants tend to grow quickly and aggressively, outcompeting desirable native species.”
In the past, invasive plants have often been introduced to an area for their ornamental value and enjoyment in landscapes and gardens, but over time, they can become harmful in their new environments.