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Avoid Non-NativeInvasive Plant Species



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Avoid Non-Native

Invasive Plant Species

To the Editor:

It was disconcerting to read Gerry McCabe’s recommendations for fall planting in a recent “Suburban Gardener” column.

How can a master gardener recommend Red Japanese Barberry, which is recognized as being among those invasive, non-native plant species that threaten our native species? Japanese Barberry is universally recognized as a serious environmental threat by local Soil & Water Conservation Districts here in Connecticut, the state DEP, the Nature Conservancy, and, nationally, the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Non-native invasive species have caused major damage to Connecticut’s forests, meadows, rivers, lakes, and other wetlands by crowding out and smothering native plants and by reducing bio-diversity. Non-native invasive species disrupt entire ecosystems by changing the makeup of plants in native communities. Once established, invasive plants spread quickly into new ranges.

Unfortunately, invasive plants like Barberry, Purple Loosestife, Autumn Olive, and Japanese Honeysuckle are still in many garden nurseries that are unwilling to give up profitable sales, even while many attractive alternatives exist.

For any information about invasive species, visit the NRCS Web site at www.ct.nrcs.usda.gov.

Dawn Handschuh

36 West Street, Newtown                                         October 31, 2000

Comments are open. Be civil.

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