What is the problem with invasive non-native plants?
According to the US Department of Agriculture, 5000 acres are being lost each day to invasive plants. Invasive non-native plants in the US cause over $35 billion in annual losses (Pimentel et al, 1999). Infestations of invasive non-native plants can cost thousands of dollars to control, and limit the landowner’s options for present and future management objectives. When invasive non-native plants such as Chinese privet, cogongrass, kudzu, and autumn olive establish into a natural area, the aesthetic value and biological integrity of native forests and grasslands are at risk.
Whether a natural area is being managed for recreational use, scenic beauty, or ecological values, there is a significant benefit to controlling invasive non-native plants.
Controlling invasive non-native plants can:
- Provide for timely and cost effective management of natural areas by reducing future maintenance and control costs.
- Allow for greater recreational access by controlling fast growing non-native vines and shrubs.
- Improve the scenic quality of an area by removing the wall of vegetation that can reduce visibility into forest and grassland areas./li>
- Allow for the long-term management of native grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees, which can be easier and cheaper to maintain than highly manipulated landscapes such as turfgrass, ornamental beds, and exotic plantings.
What is the cost of invasive plants to?
Example: Kudzu (Pueraria montana)
Kudzu is a plant that destroys native forests throughout the southeast. Kudzu is extremely adaptive, and the vines can spread over 60 feet in one year. That means 1 acre of kudzu can become 11 acres of kudzu in just 10 years, increasing the cost of control by over 10 times, while killing trees, and displacing native vegetation.
For the landowner, manager, or real estate investor, these increased expenses and losses of productive land caused by kudzu can devalue a property.
Example: Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula)
Leafy spurge is an invasive non-native plant that infests millions of acres in the Western US. In a presentation at the 1997 “Exotic Pests of Eastern Forests” Conference, a banker named Charles Weiser provided examples of how leafy spurge can reduce or remove the cattle grazing value of native range lands. In specific real estate transactions, it was shown that leafy spurge reduced land values of infested ranches by as much as 83%. Charles stated that “The highest cost you will ever pay is the lost income and drop in value as the alien plants take over. The lowest cost is for early and continued control at first appearance. That first $1 spent on small patches will save income, land values, and the extremely high costs of control later.”
Let CWC help you with your invasive plant problem
CWC has developed an invasive plant control offering to assist landowners, land managers and herbicide applicators in developing treatment and control solutions.
For specific information and assistance with your invasive problem, please contact us at 1-800-380-9903