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Invasives!
Bittersweet vines
Bittersweet invasion
 
What is an Invasive? An invasive is a non-native species of plant or animal that spreads to a new area and without its natural predators, can dominate the new area to the point of environmental harm to the entire original ecosystem.

 

Friend or Foe? Foe to native ecosystems from the soil microorganisms that nourish native plants and to animals that have evolved beneficial relationships with native flora for food and shelter. Invasives are defined by their ability to grow and reproduce rapidly, smothering and blocking out native vegetation. This can be particularly devastating to waterways that can no longer absorb rain and runoff, causing flooding.  Invasives change existing ecosystems profoundly, in some cases to a point of no return.

 

Some view invasives as nature’s way of coping with change due to mankind’s overdevelopment and exploitation of our environments, making it easy for Invasives to move in. There are those who see Invasives as an opportunity.  After all, our Invasives are the native plants somewhere else; these invasives have been used as medicine or food for a long time

Our goal this month is to bring the topic of Invasives to your attention. Our three Feature Articles start with Danger, an overview of problems brought about by Plant Invasives, the second article is an overview of Insect Invaders that have devastated our tree populations in Massachusetts Our third article is The Goat Girls, describing one solution to invasives by using goats to eat some of the plant invasives in our yards.

 

Our Book Reviews include A Guide to Invasive Plants in Massachusetts and a comparison review of two books, Invasive Plant Medicine and Beyond War on Invasive Species, giving an alternative view on the topic of Invasives.

 

As always, our feature articles and book reviews are written by our own WMMGA Master Gardeners.


 

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PHONE HOTLINE: Call the Hotline with your gardening questions at any time: 413-298-5355.  WMMGA Master Gardeners will answer your questions and call you back! Please leave your name, your question, your phone number (or email address), and the best time to reach you on the answering machine any day of the week. We will call you back when we have an answer to your question.
 

 
 
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