Invasive Species

  • Serpentine galleries left by emerald ash borer

Challenges to Forest Health

Damaging forest pests, pathogens and plants that cause harm to our New Hampshire landscape require well-planned control and management.  

Common Questions About Invasive Species

An invasive is a plant or animal that is not native to a particular ecosystem, whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. It is capable of moving aggressively into an area, monopolizing light, nutrients, water, and space to the detriment of native species.

There are many different damaging insects and diseases that currently threaten New Hampshire's towns and forests. Most are not native to North America and spread quickly. Invasive insects can pose a serious risk to trees and forests. Visit to learn more. 

Many familiar plants in our gardens and fields, and along roadsides are not native to New Hampshire. While the majority cause no harm to natural habitat or managed farms and forests, some do and are considered invasive plants. Invasive plants can reduce biodiversity, imperil rare species, reduce wildlife habitat by eliminating native foods or changing cover or nest sites, degrade water quality, reduce forest and farm crop production, and cause human health problems.

The State of New Hampshire has 27 plant species on a prohibited list. Some of these are already widespread, such as burning bush, buckthorns, multiflora rose, bittersweet, and Japanese barberry. For all the plants on this list the rule states: No person shall collect, transport, import, export, move, buy, sell, distribute, propagate or transplant any living and viable portion of any plant species, which includes all of their cultivars and varieties. New Hampshire lists other plants to "watch." The NH Invasive Plant Species Watch List is a non-regulatory reference identifying potentially invasive non-native plants.

The NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food regulates the plant industry including invasive species.

What can you do about invasive plants?

Learn to identify invasive plants

Map and report

  • Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMaps)
    EDDMapS is a web-based mapping system for documenting invasive species distribution. It combines data from many databases and organizations to create a national network of invasive species distribution data.
  • Outsmart Invasives
    EDDMapS has corresponding mobile phone apps for different regions of the country. In New England we use IPANE or Outsmart. By using this app you can report invasives on a smart phone or tablet while in the field and upload to EDDMaps. You can always edit your reports on a desktop back in the office or at home by logging in to your EDDMapS account
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE)
     A comprehensive web-accessible database of invasive and potentially invasive plants in New England continually updated by a network of professionals and trained volunteers.

Take action in your community

Manage and control invasives

Properly dispose of invasive plants

Use native plants for landscaping and conservation projects

Other invasive plant websites and resources

N.H. state agencies involved with invasive plants



A joint effort among the NH Division of Forest and Lands, US Forest Service and UNH Extension. 

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