Chemical-free Invasive Species Removal

Certain types of plants, known as "alien invasive species," are harmful to our local ecosystems because they can outcompete beneficial native plants. Invasives directly threaten native species by outcompeting them for space and resources, and indirectly threaten them via changes to vegetation community, soil chemistry, and nutrient cycling. In the broader context of changing climate and anthropogenic action, invasive plant species have often overwhelmed local landscapes, at the detriment of habitat functioning and aesthetic value. As a result, there is often a need to assess large areas of land and put in place control methods to remove, or reduce, the impacts of such species. Below are some examples of invasive species recommendations and actions we have taken over the years:

Private Residence, Putnam Valley NY

Common Ground Farm, Wappinger’s Falls, NY

One Nature completed an invasive species management plan for an organic farm and surrounding lands. The plan calls for no herbicides or otherwise harmful chemical products. Instead, it relies on hand and machine removal, site access changes, and an intensive agricultural cover crop seeding schedule. Under supervision of the Sullivan County Soil and Water Conservation District, our team of botanists and ecologists performed extensive walking transects and analysis of aerial photographs. Some of the alien species identified on the site include:

  • Euonymus alatus (Burning Bush)

  • Vicia cracca (Cow Vetch)

  • Microstegium vimineum (Japanese Stilt Grass)

  • Artmesia vulgaris (Mugwort)

  • Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental Bittersweet)

  • Phragmites australis (Common Reed)

  • Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Porcelainberry)

  • Fallopia baldschuanica (Silver Lace Vine)

Implementation of the plan requires an adaptive management approach that reacts appropriately to bi-weekly, seasonal, and annual reporting procedures. All control methods meet USDA organic farming requirements.

Capozzi Park, Bridgeport, CT

In the winter of 2018 we conducted a vegetation survey which revealed that Capozzi park was heavily dominated by non-native invasive species such as Artemisia vulgaris (Mugwort), Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle), Rosa multiflora (Multiflora Rose), and Ailanthus altissima (Tree-of-Heaven). During our field work we marked A. altissima for future removal by the grounds crew. We also used the results of our survey to recommend a long-term invasive species removal and management plan, which will later support a native species planting design.