Invasive species are any plant, animal, insect or plant disease not native to a specific location that can cause harm to the environment, impact the diversity of native species, reduce wildlife habitat or disrupt important ecosystem functions.
Why should you care about invasive species? Invasive species limit land use, degrade natural resources and inhibit recreational pursuits such as hunting, fishing, bird watching, and foraging. They also negatively impact fisheries, agricultural and forestry industries, destabilize soil and alter water resources. Invasive species also out compete natives and are costly to control with estimates showing that the U.S. spends $137 billion/year to control/manage invasive species.
As spring approaches, many invasive plants will begin to leaf out in woodland areas. Spring is a good time to stop them in their tracks so they don’t overtake native plants, affect water availability or damage the quality of soil among other potential impacts.
Here are some resources to help you identify various invasive plants in woodland areas near you, to know when to report them and also what you can do help control their spread.
Videos on Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel, Invasive Species Playlist
More Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Video Series –
Woodland Management Moment:
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners:
ID That Tree:
FNR Extension Publications, The Education Store:
Purdue Landscape Report:
FNR Extension Got Nature? Blog:
When and how do I report an invasive species?
The Purdue Invasive Species website will help you identify invasive species and explain how to send in your findings. If you notice something is killing an otherwise healthy stand of trees or shrubs, you will want to identify it and report it if it is on the invasive list. If you see a plant that is taking over an area where it doesn’t belong, you will want to identify it and report it if it is on the invasive list.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources: Invasive Species
Indiana Invasive Species Council
Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA)
Aquatic Invasive Species, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Episode 11 – Exploring the challenges of Invasive Species, Habitat University-Natural Resource University
Emerald Ash Borer Information Network, Purdue University and Partners
What Nurseries Need to Know About the Invasive Species Regulation, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Invasive plants: impact on environment and people, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Diana Evans, Extension and Web Communication Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources