What is an invasive plant?
Though there are many definitions, a useful one is: a non-native species capable of moving aggressively into an area, monopolizing light, nutrients, water, and space to the detriment of native species.
Why should we care?
Many of the familiar plants in our gardens, fields and forests aren't native to New Hampshire. While the majority cause no harm to natural habitat or managed farms and forests, many do. Invasive species can: reduce biodiversity; imperil rare species; reduce wildlife habitat by eliminating native foods, altering cover and destroying nesting sites; degrade water quality; reduce forest and agricultural crop production; and cause health problems.
The law governing invasive species
There are 27 upland plant species banned in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire law (RSA 430:51-57) and the rule are enforced by the NH Commissioner of Agriculture and prohibits the collection, possession, importation, transportation, sale, propagation, transplantation or cultivation of the banned plants.
What can you do?
1. Learn to identify them.
- Guide to Invasive Upland Plant Species in NH
- Field Guide: An Ecological Perspective of Plant Invaders of Forests (links to original and the supplement)
- Weeds of the Week
2. Use native plants in your landscape, garden and conservation projects.
- Alternatives to Invasive Landscape Plants
- Looking for Burning Bush? - Poster
- Looking for Japanese Barberry? - Poster
- Looking for Norway Maple? - Poster
- Integrated Landscaping: Following Nature's Lead
- NH State Forest Nursery (to purchase native seedlings)
- New England Wildflower Society (to purchase native plants)
- Landscape Trees and Their Susceptibility to Invasive Insects (fact sheet or poster)
3. Remove invasives from your property.
- Control Methods (NH Fish & Game)
- Control of invasives in your backyard
- Control of invasives on your woodlot (Forest Service)
- Controlling Invasive Species in Woodlots (Cornell)
- Best Management Practices for Roadside Invasive Plants (a manual by the NH Department of Transportation)
- Mechanical Controls of Glossy Buckthorns
- Guide to Invasive Plant Control (The Northeastern Area Invasive Forest Plant Species Project)
- Invasive Plants from Good Forestry in the Granite State pdf or html
4. Don't spread invasives when you dispose of them.
Other websites to visit
- Coastal Watershed Invasive Plant Partnership (CWIPP)
- Forest Service
- Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE)
- Invasive Plants (Cornell University)
- NRCS Plant Database
- USDA Invasive Species
N.H. State Agencies
- NH Dept. of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry
- NH Dept. of Agriculture, Division of Pesticide Control
- NH Dept. of Transportation
- NH Division of Forest and Lands
- UNH Technology Transfer Center
- NH Dept. of Environmental Services- Exotic Aquatic Plants