Recognize and control
This web article explains
the best approaches to exotic vegetation removal as a means of
improving forest conditions.
One of the most subtly
harmful impacts of humans on New York forests is the introduction
of non-native plant and shrub species. This vegetation, though
green and aesthetic, is overwhelming forest ecosystems, reducing
wildlife habitat, crowding out native species, and disrupting
the delicate balance of natural forest ecology.
practices for controlling exotic vegetation
Monitor for invasive
Several species of shrubs and plants have been identified as particularly
harmful to woodlot health: autumn olive, glossy buckthorn, Asian
honeysuckle, multiflora rose, and garlic mustard. There are many
others. Learn to identify these plants and shrubs at all times
of the year. Once you see how widespread they have become, you
may appreciate the need to bring them under control.
Select native species
of vegetation for conservation.
Encourage friends and neighbors to consciously choose native vegetation
for conservation projects, like attracting wildlife. Preferred
native shrubs include viburnum and dogwood. Native trees include
maples (expect Norway maple), cherry, birches, oaks, ash, pine
and spruce. Ask your seedling supplier to recommend and carry
There is some debate
as to whether non-native, but non-invasive trees like Norway spruce,
Austrian pine, or Scotch pine are desirable. There are some situations
where it may be appropriate to use these species in your planting
plan. Check with a forester or Extension agent for local advice
on these species.
Seek methods of
removal that do not involve herbicide applications.
If you wish to remove invasive species of vegetation from your
woodlot, first attempt methods that do not involve herbicide applications.
These methods include repeated cutting or mowing, pulling the
plants or shrubs out by roots, or allowing goats to eat away species
that will not harm them. Cornell Cooperative Extension can provide
specific guidelines for these strategies. A combination of methods
is sometimes necessary. Consult with Extension or other qualified
advisors regarding exotic vegetation removal
If herbicides are
used, follow label instructions.
It is important to read and follow herbicide labels precisely.
There are dozens of herbicidal products available and each has
a different treatment method, timing, and safety precautions.
Federal law prohibits using a material to kill vegetation or pests
unless it is specifically labeled for that use. Contact Cornell
Cooperative Extension for advice about selecting the best herbicide
for your forest management goals.
Establish a safe
area for mixing herbicides.
Use protective materials, such as matting or basins, to catch
spills and leaks from sprayers or other chemical containers. Designate
one refilling area and keep the protective materials available,
rather than scatted throughout the work site. When refilling a
sprayer, it is better to use the bed of a truck than to have the
chemical spill onto the ground.
Restricted use pesticides
can only be applied by certified applicators.
These personnel have received training to chose and apply chemicals
properly, avoiding drift and runoff that pollutes wetlands and
Use markers to identify
Because herbicides can be applied in forests over a large area,
use flags or dyes to control your application. It is a waste of
time and money, and a possible environmental hazard, to accidentally