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Mimosa - an invasive plant discussion

Iris GW
15 years ago

Albizia julibrissin was introduced in 1745. Mostly called Mimosa, it is also called Silk Tree. It grows from New England to Florida, and as far west as Missouri and Illinois. It is also grown in California and some of the Pacific Northwest.

Many of the folks that grow it on purpose in the more northern areas (recent posts from Northern New Jersey and Connecticut are two examples) claim that it is not invasive there and request exemption from any disparaging comments about their desire to grow it.

But the USDA Forest Service reports that it is invasive in not just southern states but areas like New Jersey, Massachusetts, and West Virginia.

What makes a tree invasive? Does wide spread use do it? Lets take Crepe Myrtle as an example (introduced in the US in 1747, so mimosa has a two year head start on it). Crepe Myrtle is ubiquitous in metro Atlanta  two in every yard, large groups of them in business parks, up and down the highways in median strips. These guys should be popping up as invasive plants everywhere! Now I could be wrong  but IÂve never seen a volunteer crepe myrtle on the side of the road. I do see a few volunteers in my neighborÂs garden immediately underneath the tree. But they seem to go no further than that. If someone knows otherwise, please correct me! I do not work for the Forestry Commission.

Apparently, crepe myrtle has no invasive tendencies in this area. An exotic plant that is not invasive  they do exist. So wide spread use is perhaps not the reason that plants become invasive. It must be because some plants have reproductive capabilities that make them so  prolific seeds, vegetative means of propagation (like suckering), seeds that stay viable for many years, seeds that are carried far enough to start new colonies some distance from the parents. Mimosa has proven itself to have these reproductive capabilities.

But to be fair, Albizia julibrissin is not the only invasive tree in the US. A recent post on Garden Web talked about other Weed trees.

It is a matter of being responsible when it comes to known problem situations. Tallow tree (introduced in 1772) is not very well known in areas like Atlanta. I suppose there might be a few of them around. Therefore, I can assume that it is not invasive in the Atlanta area, right? It is such a fast grower! IÂll get some seeds from my friend in Florida, itÂll make a handsome shade tree for me. Wrong. I would not introduce such a known invasive plant. I have no doubt it will be invasive in this area eventually.

Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima, was introduced in 1784 and is hugely invasive in Tennessee and becoming more so in North Georgia. It is considered invasive in even more states than mimosa according to the USDA Forest Service. Unfortunately it can be so ubiquitous that many people mistake it for a native plant  a native sumac (itÂs nickname is Stinking Sumac). Talk about the ultimate insult!

My hope is that people would be more responsible about what they plant. If mimosa was introduced in 1745, was it considered invasive in 1746? Of course not Âit takes time for these things to gain momentum and some invade faster than others. Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet) was not introduced to the US until the early 1800s, but in the southeast, it has invaded and disturbed more acres of land than even kudzu and certainly more than mimosa. Again, many folks donÂt even realize it is NOT native, thatÂs how prevalent it is. "Why thatÂs just ol hedge, weÂve grown it for years!"

So for those of you that feel itÂs ok to plant just one more, compare yourselves to the folks that dump out their ashtray while stopped at the red light. ThereÂs already so many, whatÂs wrong with another, a few more? And for those of you that feel itÂs ok to plant one because "itÂs not invasive in my area", I think your time is coming. If youÂre seeing them on the side of the road, the trend as already revealed itself. Maybe you wonÂt be around when it happens, it could be years from now, but you contributed.

Comments (68)

  • snasxs
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    quirkyquercus, you fail to supply any feature to differentiate Siberian from American elm. I worry that you are not able to tell the invasive from local elm. These invasive elms take over landscapes unnoticed. Look at your truck: you spend too much time fighting flashy flowers and exotic leaves.

    saccharum, thanks, quote my post: competition can be beneficial to native species. We want native species to evolve stronger. Plants have robust genetic material. e.g. rice plant has a couple times more genes than us. The worst causes of declining of plant species are: climate change and human activities. Each ice-age wipes out the majority. Invasive plants thrive on bare soil and disturbed ground where the native plant community has been displaced (by humans). First native plants are removed for building roads/houses/lawns, then exotic plants grow on the bare soil. You pick several of my jokes (notice this is a private .com with lots of ads).

    (1) I mean that since multi-floral roses mess up engines. The tractors cannot go in and clear out the native plants. The native plants are cheering because they are protected by the thorny serpents.

    (2) Primitive Cycas Panzhihuaeniss can survive fierce competition in Euro-Asian continents. I doubt any plants native to North American cannot make it. After all, plants in North America are not extensively isolated from the rest of the world.

  • alabamatreehugger 8b SW Alabama
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I live in coastal Alabama and I can say that Mimosa is very invasive here. It grows all along the roadsides and is growing along the railroad tracks across from my property. Chinese privet and Chinese Tallow is even worse. I just got back from vacationing in the Smokey Mountains and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Mimosa growing there. That's the one place I thought I could go and not see it. How disappointing!

    And yes, people here call Chinese privet "hedge bushes" and "switch bushes", they have no idea they're not native plants.

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  • saccharum
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, honestly I'm having a great deal of trouble telling where you're joking and where you're not. Maybe you could use winking smileys, or something? I'm aware this is a commercial site, but again I fail to see the relevance.

    snasx: competition can be beneficial to native species. We want native species to evolve stronger.

    What do you mean by "stronger," and how (from an evolutionary perspective) will displacement by invasive species cause native species to develop this quality?

    Plants have robust genetic material. e.g. rice plant has a couple times more genes than us.

    The number of genes in the genome doesn't really tell you how much genetic (let alone phenotypic) variation there is in the population.

    The worst causes of declining of plant species are: climate change and human activities. Each ice-age wipes out the majority.

    Right, and a meteor might strike us tomorrow, so let's go out and max out our credit cards! (joke)

    Invasive plants thrive on bare soil and disturbed ground where the native plant community has been displaced (by humans). First native plants are removed for building roads/houses/lawns, then exotic plants grow on the bare soil.

    This is true of many invasives, yes - many of the most familiar ones are early-successional pioneer species. However, we also have plenty of native pioneer species. The bare ground would not remain bare without invasive species to take the place of the native "weedy" species. And in some cases, an invasive can prevent the later-successional native species from moving in as they otherwise would.

    Plus, there are also invasive species that can move into undisturbed communities, from grasslands to forests. One that's close to my heart is Norway maple. It can establish in mature hardwood forests, where it is more shade-tolerant than even beech or sugar maple. Then when it reaches the canopy, it casts a deeper shade than the natives - so much so that very little can survive under it, except baby Norway maples. Over time, this results in a Norway maple-dominated stand, with greatly reduced species diversity in the understory.

    Another example would be Chinese tallow. It invades coastal prairie, which is now a rare habitat type that is usually dominated by non-woody species such as grasses. It can establish into these areas and form monospecific stands within 10 years of invading, change the fire regime, and completely alter the community. Although you may like the way a tallow tree stand looks more than a prairie grassland, we need a diversity of habitats to support a diversity of wildlife.

    (1) I mean that since multi-floral roses mess up engines. The tractors cannot go in and clear out the native plants. The native plants are cheering because they are protected by the thorny serpents.

    Joke, right?

    (2) Primitive Cycas Panzhihuaeniss can survive fierce competition in Euro-Asian continents. I doubt any plants native to North American cannot make it.

    Right, it persists in its native range. I still don't see how that is relevant. We have "primitive" native cycads here, too. I don't think anyone has said that ALL native plants will be displaced, everywhere.

    After all, plants in North America are not extensively isolated from the rest of the world.

    Well, prior to human intervention, North American species were effectively isolated from the rest of the world, by large bodies of salt water. Thus, the species on each continent have been co-evolving with each other over the millenia. And that's precisely why non-native plants that are innocuous in their native range can sometimes be invasive and cause serious problems, and also why exotic pests and diseases that aren't a major problem in their home range can decimate an entire genus in a new range. Some of our North American species are invasive problems elsewhere, too.

  • treeguy123
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is one of the worst vines almost like kudzu which kudzu is the top worst and will cover up a entire forest here in the south, one long fence by us is covered to the top with Japanese Honeysuckle. It is even covering up, pulling down, and strangling/choking off native trees to death such as some 20 and 30 foot sassafras trees at the edge of the woods. Even if you try pull the plant up a load of mile long roots stay in the ground and resprought like wildfire choking, covering, shading off and spreading like crazy. Ive even seen the invasive Chinese privet which we have acres of, and Ive even seen thousands of baby Chinese privet seedlings within a 20x20' area under some maybe millions of this awful stuff fighting each other for sunlight and it is so thick you cant walk though it. Birds spread it on every foot of land and the berries are not really good for the birds because they lack substances that birds need that native trees do provide such as the American holly. It has made me laugh before just seeing the two awful spreading invasive plants (Japanese Honeysuckle and Chinese privet) growing over each other like crazy fighting plants. The climate here in the east U.S. is too perfect for most Chinese and Japanese plants and rarely have any pests so they have no problems here reproducing and spreading just like wildfire just like kudzu does. One bug that is awful invasive is the Japanese beetle which just destroys and eats native trees to shreds and I hate these little beetles and again they have hardly any enemies to help keep their population in check (which they are not like this in Japan because they have animals there that eat them and keep them in check). All the invasives do is compete aggressively and choke off and shade out native trees and plants (Especially native small plants). The key to keeping invasive at bay is to help out our native environment out so future generations of animals and plants/trees and people can enjoy the place and be happy. Invasive could lead and probably has lead to things going extinct and you cant fix that so people need to treasure and help what the natives can provide to their environment.

  • quirkyquercus
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "quirkyquercus, you fail to supply any feature to differentiate Siberian from American elm. I worry that you are not able to tell the invasive from local elm. These invasive elms take over landscapes unnoticed. Look at your truck: you spend too much time fighting flashy flowers and exotic leaves."

    I took those plants out from behind my house because i want the restore what was there. I was targeting all invasive species, not just these flowering trees, including some of these horrible grasses that are also on the dnp list.

    I'm not sure what kind of answer you were looking for with the elm question. I was actually involved with propagating American elm for a while so I think I could probably tell the difference. Siberian elm isn't the big problem for my locale, it's the Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia). And Am. Elm and Ch. Elm look nothing alike if you are asking for differences of appearance. In fact I doubt I have even seen a Siberian elm in person! If there's a notable difference you think I should know about why don't you educate me. I'm not here to preach, I'm here to learn. Unfortunately I also can't tell if you are joking with some of your remarks. You must have the impression I'm removing invasives because solely because I don't like the look of exotic palm-ish trees. The reason I remove them is I can see what can eventually happen. You're left with nothing.

  • snasxs
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    {{gwi:409005}}

    Saccharum, the Bering Sea is forest/grassland periodically. There are exchanges between Euro-Asian and North American continent. Many plants, cycas, tulip populars, magnolias, sassafras trees grow in both continents. Native North American plants are not genetically inferior to Euro-Asian plants. North America does not have complex diversity as South America. Euro-Asian plants become invasive because there is no specialized pest. A cheap fix is introducing pests. Can you give me a list of endangered North American trees/plants?

    Quirkyquercus, Siberian elm probably is not a problem in Florida. Invasiveness is not intrinsic to a plant. Nevertheless, it could be that you mistake Siberian as Am Elm.

    treeguy123, how many years does it take for invasive plants to grow into acres? You write "if you try pulling the plant up a load of mile long roots stay in the ground and resprought like wildfire." If this is the reality, do you think it might be futile to fight/control these? I mean perhaps this is how Mother Nature works.

  • lkz5ia
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hey snasxs, its easy to tell the difference between siberian and american elm in my location. The key difference is that the american elm is the dead tree, while the siberian elm is the alive tree.

  • supertyphoon
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This is easily one of the best threads on this entire forum! So fun to read.

  • alabamatreehugger 8b SW Alabama
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "how many years does it take for invasive plants to grow into acres?"

    Only a year or two here.

  • snasxs
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    its easy to tell the difference between siberian and american elm in my location. The key difference is that the american elm is the dead tree, while the siberian elm is the alive tree.

    Lol, likz, you are too funny. Quirkyquercus is taking notes.

  • quirkyquercus
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "Native North American plants are not genetically inferior to Euro-Asian plants."

    Is anybody making this case?

    "Nevertheless, it could be that you mistake Siberian as Am Elm."
    There are ways to distinguish the two just like with norway maples & sugar maples. If you're trying to discredit me by suggesting I can't tell the two elms apart, you're right I probably couldn't tell the two apart. But that is irrelevant. You're trying to make me out to be the proverbial native nazi but I have plenty of exotics in my yard to disprove that one.

  • pineresin
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    One easy difference between American Elm and Siberian Elm is that AE has its flowers on 1-2cm long stems, whereas SE has its flowers almost stemless. Some of the other American species of Ulmus also have almost stemless flowers though.

    Resin

  • pineresin
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "Saccharum, the Bering Sea is forest/grassland periodically. There are exchanges between Euro-Asian and North American continent."

    The Bearing Land Bridge, when 'operational', hasn't been warm enough for any other than subarctic species, at any time in the last 30 million years.

    Resin

  • lkz5ia
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    American and siberian elm are easy to tell apart. Leaf size and overall tree appearance will easily tell them apart.

  • treeguy123
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It's easy to tell the difference between Siberian and American elm because American Elm has leaves that are 3 to 6 inches long and Siberian Elm has smaller leaves that are ¾ to 2 inches long.

    "treeguy123, how many years does it take for invasive plants to grow into acres? You write "if you try pulling the plant up a load of mile long roots stay in the ground and resprought like wildfire." If this is the reality, do you think it might be futile to fight/control these? I mean perhaps this is how Mother Nature works."

    Kudzu can grow over 1 foot each day in the summer and a total of 60 feet each year here in the south and cover up forest and kill trees. So it would probably only take 2 to 4 years to cover acres. Kudzu, over a period of several years will kill trees by blocking the sunlight and for this and other reasons many would like to find ways to get rid of it. About the only way to get rid of is to fence in goats around the area and they will eat it to the ground and if they are left there long enough they will starve the Kudzu and kill it. I heard of some people getting two tractors side by side with a long chain in between and raking the vine up with the chain by dragging it along the ground.


    {{gwi:409008}}

    Chinese privet can cover every place around edge of a forest and the whole length of a fence were birds poop the seed out in about 20 to 40 years much less if you count seedlings instead of large bushes. If you cut one down to the ground they send up hundreds of suckers. And they are just a plain nuisance and don't do any good except clogging up forests and growing in every corner. It's the same with Japanese Honeysuckle. Snasxs, I was using sarcasm on the roots if you didn't catch that. It can do some good if you do some cleaning up of invasive plants around trees and the forest edges and can keep them at bay which in turn will keep them from choking/shading and killing your plants and trees. And large scale clean ups can improve the health of a forest greatly.

    One definition of invasive plants:
    Invasive plants are species that show a tendency to spread out of control and by their ability to invade and disrupt an ecosystem. Although not synonymous with "exotic plants" ("alien plants"), invasive plants often are plants that have been introduced from other regions. Once introduced, such plants spread very fast, partly because the insects and diseases that plague these invasive plants in their native lands are often absent in their new homes. Invasive species tend to overrun ecosystems into which they are introduced. Collectively they are one of the great threats to biodiversity and ecosystem stability.
    Invasive plants compete so successfully against other plants that they can crowd out their competitors, thus producing a monoculture that discourages the growth of other plant varieties. Exotic invasive plants often crowd out indigenous plants in this manner.

  • januszb
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    >>What do you mean by "stronger," and how (from an evolutionary perspective) will displacement by invasive species cause native species to develop this quality?Isolation create danger of weak immune system.
    Many, many thousands of native people were killed not by bullets but by common cold brought by european invaders.Those that survived no longer die from common cold.

    American continent is not Galapagos Islands you can't convert it into monstrous nature preserve unless you would move out 300 milions "humanweeds" to other continent. Rare orchid or fern will not clean smog over LA, Chicago or NY... mapple forest... even without understory biodiversity and consisting with only Norway Maples WILL DO!!!

    >>This is true of many invasives, yes - many of the most familiar ones are early-successional pioneer species. However, we also have plenty of native pioneer species.If we have plenty of native pionier species why they were not used and for soil erosion in the past and even now imported species are delibaretly planted for the same purpose? Scientists made mistake in the past but right now they know better... and in a few decades next generation of scientists will discover that removal of invasive plants did more harm than good. Evolution apply not only to nature but scientific studies as well.

    >>The bare ground would not remain bare without invasive species to take the place of the native "weedy" species.And benefits would be that those native "weedy" species can be called "NATIVE"??? It does not matter if specie is weedy as long as it is NATIVE!!! Silver maple is prolific seeder and did not created forests like Norway Maple??? Why???

    >>"how many years does it take for invasive plants to grow into acres?"

    Only a year or two here.And that is why we need them. We could plant thousands of sugar maples and wait thousand years hoping they survive air polution, global warming and newly constructed roads and communities or plant those that will create forest in every disturbed or polluted areas in couple of years... those maples kudzu and other "thugs" are "band aids" in our civilization, they are renewable source for timber or source of energy... oil will not last forever. How many trees were growing in our planet a few hundred years ago? How many milions trees disappear every year even in Amazon jungle? Should we replace those milions of trees with trees that have difficulties to adapt to climatic changes are sensitive to pollution suspectible to fatal diseasies and fight those that grow and multiply despite all those things?

    Non native invasive plants are blamed for what we humans are destroying, they are blamed for what polution and climatic changes do, they are blamed for disappearance many plant species eaten by overgrown deer population.

    Do not plant Dames Rocket this thug live on this continent for over three centuries and is worthles to wildlife... "even deer don't want to eat it" though in my garden butterflies and bees enjoy what this non native weed has to offer. Non native plants has no value to wildlife but amazingly many of them are spreading by birds pooping... and anybody with good vision can see they provide great shelter for many wildlife species. If one or two particular species can't adapt to those alien plants it means it is worthles for wildlife?

    If you really belive that non native plants cause "so much harm" get rid of all. The fact that some are not on the invasive list do not mean they can't become in the future.

    How long plant has to live in USA to become native? 100years? 1000years? 10000years? Is Dawn Redwood native or is it tree from China?

    JanuszB

  • snasxs
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    quirkyquer, pls look at the range of invasive Siberian Elm.
    The worst threat is one you do not recognize.
    Confucius

    {{gwi:409010}}


    Treeguy123, I like your idea of fencing in goats to round up Kudzu. I think it is a profitable idea. As a side note, I have to pull out the pics of multi-floral roses.

    {{gwi:404507}}

    {{gwi:404508}}

  • quirkyquercus
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Are you trying to suggest that the map you displayed is the invasive range of siberian elm or simply "the range of invasive siberian elm?

    You got a way with words. It looks like you haven't got anything relevant to add to the discussion.

  • saccharum
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    januszb:Isolation create danger of weak immune system.
    Many, many thousands of native people were killed not by bullets but by common cold brought by european invaders.Those that survived no longer die from common cold.

    This is an interesting example, because the colonization of the Americas by Europeans can serve as a rough analogy for species invasion.

    Native Americans weren't killed by the common cold. They were killed by primarily by smallpox, and also by measles, influenza, bubonic plague, mumps, yellow fever, and whooping cough. And they weren't susceptible because their immune systems were inherently inferior, but because the population did not have the long history with those particular pathogens, which had periodically impacted the European population (at times dramatically, as with the plague outbreaks). Both pathogens and humans had reached an unsteady equilibrium with each other in the Old World - the human population building up resistance, and the pathogens reducing their lethality to better persist in the population (a pathogen that kills too quickly doesn't spread as well nor persist as long).

    So, must like an invasive pest or disease in native trees, the Native American population wasn't adapted to those pathogens, and unlike the Europeans, they were confronted with all of these new diseases at the same time. And of course, they weren't given a chance to recover - the European settlers were following behind the spread of their diseases, colonizing and "civilizing" the land that once was home to millions of Native Americans, but was now mostly depopulated, with as much as 90% of the population killed in some areas. There are many accounts of settlers finding villages populated with nothing but skeletons. And the settlers actively competed with the survivors (to put it mildly) for resources.

    So, were the Native Americans helped by the introduction of these diseases, by killing those who were more susceptible to pathogens? Look around you and tell me if you think that the Native Americans turned out to be benefited by this exchange.

    Quite likely, if all else had remained the same, Native Americans would have eventually recovered to something like their previous population levels (although entire cultures would likely still have been lost). But with the steady encroachment of the colonists, and with it the changes in land use, near-extinction of important wildlife species, etc., they never got the chance. With all respect to Native Americans, all we have are relatively tiny remnant populations of this once widespread and diverse group.

    Similarly, native ecosystems are not at risk just from one thing. Land development has greatly fragmented ecosystems, putting greater pressure and importance on what's left, which is under constant pressure from human traffic, pollution, and much more. Then on top of this we have exotic diseases, pests, and, yes - plants invading into these communities. And unlike the other invasives, the vast majority of invasive plants are introduced intentionally, often as ornamentals. This is a problem we can easily do something about.

    American continent is not Galapagos Islands you can't convert it into monstrous nature preserve unless you would move out 300 milions "humanweeds" to other continent. Rare orchid or fern will not clean smog over LA, Chicago or NY

    No one's talking about "converting [the continent] into a monstrous nature preserve." Just not planting invasives, is that so extreme? And no, a dense monoculture of a single plant generally provides fewer benefits to humans (what are often called "ecosystem services") than a diverse, complex plant community.

    If we have plenty of native pionier species why they were not used and for soil erosion in the past and even now imported species are delibaretly planted for the same purpose?

    Many have been used. Not every imported species is invasive.

    Scientists made mistake in the past but right now they know better... and in a few decades next generation of scientists will discover that removal of invasive plants did more harm than good. Evolution apply not only to nature but scientific studies as well.

    Oookay.

    And benefits would be that those native "weedy" species can be called "NATIVE"??? It does not matter if specie is weedy as long as it is NATIVE!!! Silver maple is prolific seeder and did not created forests like Norway Maple??? Why???

    That's the main point, the thing we keep trying to tell you - our native pioneer species have coevolved with the rest of the ecosystem. They are part of the normal successional progression. They give way to the normal later-successional species. Silver maple is not as shade-tolerant as late-successional native species such as sugar maple, and can't survive as juveniles under the deeper shade of those species. There are also many other species that are able to compete alongside and beneath it.

  • snasxs
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Saccharum, I would say Native Americans are not any more susceptible to measles than Caucasians. In this aspect, the group of Homo Sapiens is better off.

    However, I notice that you change the topic and ask a social-economic question:

    "Look around you and tell me if you think that the Native Americans turned out to be benefited by this exchange"

    You have changed the topic. I go this direction with you: policies restricting Latino immigrants do not help Native Americans return to where they were before 1500.

  • saccharum
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    However, I notice that you change the topic and ask a social-economic question:

    "Look around you and tell me if you think that the Native Americans turned out to be benefited by this exchange"

    You have changed the topic. I go this direction with you: policies restricting Latino immigrants do not help Native Americans return to where they were before 1500.

    It wasn't a change in topic - as I said, it was an analogy. And I wasn't the one who first brought it up - januszb suggested that natives could be beneficial to invasives in the same way that Native Americans who survived European pathogens "no longer die from common cold." The question I asked, of course, was rhetorical.

    And no, I'm not interested in discussing immigration policy. If you're trying to make a new analogy, I'm afraid I don't see how it applies. Who are the Latinos supposed to represent be in the context of plant communities?

    Or is it another joke?

  • snasxs
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It follows your question "look around you and tell me if you think that Native Americans turned out to be benefited by this exchange." The answer is yes. They are not any more susceptible to measles than Caucasians.

    Following the analogy, Native Americans are the Native plants. Latino immigrants are the new invasive species. Caucasians are the remaining factors from cities, roads, to farms with massive agriculture crops (established invasives).

    I say that policies restricting Latino immigrants do not help Native Americans return to where they were before 1500.

  • saccharum
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I don't think anyone is suggesting that we can or should try to return our landscape to a pre-colonial state, or even that such a thing would be possible. However, invasive species do have a cumulative effect: each new one presents new problems and challenges.

  • Iris GW
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Does anyone know if any local governments are considering getting involved in pushing for eradication of invasive plants (those on their published weed lists, of course) on unmanaged properties? For example, in rural areas where properties of several to hundreds of acres play host to new colonies of invasive plants ... and the landowner does nothing to remove them (usually because the owner lives elsewhere, hence the land is 'unmanaged' in an active sense). Left alone, these populations will grow to mature plants, creating seed and further increase the population.

    Sometimes these plants are even in the "right of way" next to the roadway. It seems at least the local roads crew could be funded to dispose of those.

    saccharum, thanks for your comments on this thread. Your "in the trenches" perspective on invasive plants is always appreciated.

  • lkz5ia
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Has anyone seen my Mom?

  • snasxs
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Without any invasive species, Lipotes vexilifer becomes extinct this year.

    It is the only remaining member of the Lipotidae, an ancient mammal family that separated from other marine mammals 40-20 million years ago.

    "This extinction represents the disappearance of a complete branch of the evolutionary tree of life and emphasises that we have yet to take full responsibility in our role as guardians of the planet." link

  • quercus_macrocarpa
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Janus, Snasxs...

    I get the distinct impression that neither of you have ever had to deal with Ailanthus.

  • quirkyquercus
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Esh- I know there are massive projects down in florida near the keys where you can drive for just miles and miles and miles and see where there were dead austrialian pines and dead malaleuca interspersed with native vegetation like they had gone and sprayed one at a time. Where I was living briefly there was the occasional project to clean the australian pines and brazillian pepper out of roadside r-o-w's (from seemingly ordinary pine flatwoods) and mangroves too.

    Up here I don't recall seeing that much habitat restoration going on but you know how it is, all this cut over land is destined to be a strip mall or a snobdivision or a walmart supercenter so the motivation isn't there. It is a lot of work to take them out of even your own backyard and a lot of times they keep coming back.

    I don't know for sure but Last year I'd swear they had removed some mimosa and tree of hecks along I- 85 between here and LAwrenceville -suwannee rd when they were cutting some of it back away from the r-o-w.

  • lkz5ia
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    quercus_macrocarpa, Ailanthus is only a bad plant if you don't like vigoruos plants. Its one of the better exotics that grow for me.

  • januszb
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    >>So, were the Native Americans helped by the introduction of these diseases, by killing those who were more susceptible to pathogens? Look around you and tell me if you think that the Native Americans turned out to be benefited by this exchange.No, Native Americans did not benefit from this exchange but homo sapien on planet earth did. This invasion ultimately created the MOST ethnically DIVERSE nation, democracy and technological progress, thanks to this invasion human kind was able to stop nazi holocaust and sick komunist ideology and even landed on the moon. American indians developed stronger immune system... they no longer are dying from "common cold". The reason why currently they are minority (in USA and Canada) is too complex but their genes in hundred or more years will be present in almost every american citizen. It is extreme hypocrysy to be invader and call for eradication of non native plants that multiply too fast. Maybe native americans should request from congress new law that will regulate how many kids caucasian families are allowed to have. If you love so much native plants you should love this idea... (joke)
    What is weed? It is plant that grow where human does not want him grow.
    Who is illigal immigrant in USA? It is native american that illigaly crossed Rio Grande. Why you want stop them? Most of them are NATIVE. (joke)
    No I am not Latino I am "european weed" and I want the border to be sealed but those "weeds" that grow here for decades or centuries are as american... as american pie...anything born in USA is rightfully citizen.

    >>And no, a dense monoculture of a single plant generally provides fewer benefits to humansDense monoculture of single plant happens only on farmfields and golfcourses... even most residential lawns are not able achieve this status. I wish some of native militia before getting rid of Mimosa destroyed KBG growing in their lawn... Kentucky Blue Grass is listed as "invasive" on some "invasive lists".
    >>About the only way to get rid of is to fence in goats around the area and they will eat it to the ground and if they are left there long enough they will starve the Kudzu and kill it.What a wonderful ecologicaly safe way to control this thug... and think how many dying from hunger kids in Sudan or Ethiopia would enjoy goats milk produced. Goats milk is better in many ways than cow milk. I think goverment introduced kudzu as strategically important crop in the event global warming will destroy all other crops.Without fertilization pesticides herbicidies USA can have ample source of food for growing population...and from milk you can do many things not only cheese and jogurt... maybe in hundred years 600 milions of americans will heat their homes and drive vehicles using kudzu.

    :-)))

    JanuszB

  • alabamatreehugger 8b SW Alabama
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I know one thing for sure, when I drive down the highway I don't want to feel like I'm in China because 75% of the plant life is Asian. The unique beauty of the North American continent is what made our ancestors want to stay here, no matter where they came from. All one must do is read the writings of historical botanists who spoke of the towering Chestnut trees of the Appalachians, the Longleaf pine forest of the southeast, and the oak savannas of the midwest. They were completely awed at the beauty, which has mostly been lost. I realize most has been lost due to logging, but exotic invasives have had an impact as well. I grow many non-native plants such as camellias, indica azaleas, hibiscus, tea olives, etc., but they are well behaved and do not wreak havoc on the native plants. Once I catch a non-native plant smothering out the native ones repeatedly, it's outta here!

  • snasxs
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We really shouldnt waste $ 200 billion for perceived invasives. There are more pressing issues in our world. For example, Lipotes vexilifer is allowed to extinct with no money to save these. That many people first hear about these dolphins is when they are functional extinct.

    {{gwi:409013}}

    The top scientists from 5 countries tried to save these out of their own pockets. Read the heartbreaking last letter from the director of baiji.org

  • dodgerblue
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I Grew up in So. California. My Father absolutely loves the Mimosa trees. Through the 18 Years I lived at home, I remember our 2 Large Mimosa's in the front yard, and cannot remember any popping up in the neighbors yard, or anywhere else in our yard for that matter. I had lived in N. Carolina for 10 years, and can not recall if there was a problem there or not. Here in central Arkansas, I see an occasional Mimosa along the road, but nowhere near an invasion. I'm no plantologist by no means, but this is the first place I've ever read about them being invasive. I bought one this past summer at K-Mart and planted it in the front yard, and ants got to the roots, so I don't know how it's gonna fare thru the winter.

  • snasxs
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Is this Mimosa?

    {{gwi:409014}}

  • pineresin
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    No, it's a little red "X"!

  • quirkyquercus
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    No snacks, that is a bottlebrush tree. Very weak wooded, not particularly attractive and attracts stinging insects but I don't believe it's invasive.

    Dodgerblue, they aren't popping up in people's yards they are popping up in natural areas, woods, forest wildlife habitat, whatever you want to call it. Unless you go into these areas you will not see the problem first hand. You can be like the rest of uninformed consumers and think because you don't see it happening then it must not be a problem.

  • philinsydney1
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    There is no doubt that invasive species can drive out native ones. The South African bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera)has profoundly changed the character of sand dunes along parts of the coast near me. Where there used to be a diverse range of native plants such as acacia, leptospermum and others, there is now just a monoculture of these weeds. They don't even do a good job of stabilizing the dunes.

  • alabamatreehugger 8b SW Alabama
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    People always think of Mimosa as the tree with the pretty pink flowers, but those flowers turn into these ugly brown pods. The tree in the photo was not intentionally planted.

  • quirkyquercus
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You might as well plant some marigolds because aside from those flowers it has no other seasonal interest. Even honey locust has it beat with fall color and attractive bark.

  • dottie_in_charlotte
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm way out of my league here among those who have the hort/scientific backgrounds.
    That said, I do have to agree with those who strongly feel that the asian elms are one of the most invasive species in the USA. Up in Ct. , I had little problem with them seeding so prolifically. Now in the South, they are the bane of my gardening existance. Tap rooted, they are the opportunists and produce so much viable seed that they crowd out the maples,oaks and sycamores.
    I guarantee that if I abandoned my home for a period of three years, every border would be covered with thousands of young asian (chinese or siberian)elms (and japanese switchgrass, another high up on the invasives list).
    Both have no problem filtering down through mulches.

    By the way, I love mimosa trees.

  • quirkyquercus
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It's ok to love them just don't plant them.

  • alabamatreehugger 8b SW Alabama
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    One thing is for sure, if the mimosa webworm ever makes it to the south, it will have an all you can eat buffet. Sadly, that may be our only hope in getting mimosas under control.

  • pineresin
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "By the way, I love mimosa trees"
    "It's ok to love them just don't plant them"

    Sounds a bit, er . . .

    ;-)

  • quercus_macrocarpa
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ikz,

    I take it your definition of "vigorous" is an ugly, malodorous tree with no practical use that is almost impossible to eradicate?

  • jqpublic
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just wanted to mention on sites owned by NCSU...they do use goats to control Kudzu. It works well. Too bad they just build buildings on top of most of those areas afterwards.

  • lkz5ia
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    quercus_macrocarpa, you just had to awaken the dead, didn't you.

    The only reason Ailanthus has no use in America, is because its a poor man's tree. When the industrial world loses steam, everyone will be glad there is a vigorous tree to take care of their wood needs. But I would rather have black locust though, just as vigorous, better wood. They both get A's in my class.

  • wisconsitom
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Both common and glossy buckthorn are absolutely, without a doubt, DESTROYING vast wooded areas up here. Shade tolerant and very prolific, they easily move into wooded areas and set up shop. Once established they prevent EVERYTHING else from growing there. No more spring wildflowers, no more tree seedlings. Even maples, which are as a group very shade tolerant themselves, will not regenerate under the buckthorns. If you don't think something like this is a problem, it is because you lack the awareness of, and appreciation for, what was there before.

    Every exotic species is not invasive. I intend to plant some Norway spruce, for example, on land I plan to buy. Norway spruce can reproduce in this area, but will never become a problem plant. This discussion absolutely calls for a nuanced approach. Banning the use of ALL non-native species would be hugely ill-advised. But taking the view that any plant that can grow in a given locale should therefor be allowed to do so is just plain ignorant. The buckthorn invasion up here has been described as a slow-motion catastrophe, by people that can see and understand what's happening.

    Again, I think that people that don't see these invaders as problems have little understanding of the havoc they are causing.

    +oM

  • alabamatreehugger 8b SW Alabama
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    wisconsitom, that's the way it is here with Ligustrum. I had it so thick in some areas I actually had to get on my hands and knees and crawl through the woods. You couldn't walk through the woods, it was like a living green wall.

  • quercus_macrocarpa
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ikz,

    There are much better native species for the post-industrial landscape, but they're being crowded out by ailanthus. Ailanthus is even starting to show up on the edges of forest preserves around here.