Invasive Plants are Destroying Your Woodland!

Loss of future timber harvest revenue

 

USFS and Indiana DNR State Property inventories show that our woodlands gain an average of 179 bd ft/acre volume growth annually.  A study by the Dept. of Plant Biology at Ohio University found that in woodlands with an understory dominated by Bush Honeysuckle, there was a reduction of hardwood tree annual  volume growth of up to 53%.  This loss is due primarily to elements produced by the shrubs which stunt the growth of adjacent plants.  Competition for sunlight, moisture and nutrients also contribute to the loss.  Simple math shows the drastic financial impact this can have.

 

                  179 bd ft/ac X .53 = 94.87 bd ft/ac loss

 

At an average price of $0.35/bd ft this equates to a loss of $33.20 per ac, per year. In a 40 acre tract, this means an annual loss of $1,328.18 future timber harvest revenue per year.  If a managed woods has a harvest on average, once every 15 years, this equals to a potential loss of up to $19,923.00 at each harvest!

 

Loss of Native Plant Diversity

 

The same compounds that stunts hardwood growth also stunt and prevent the growth of native herbaceous plants and grasses.

 

Decreased wildlife Use

 

A loss of plant diversity in invasive plant-dominated woodlands leads to less wildlife food, nesting sites and escape cover for many wildlife species.

 

Increased Tick Populations

 

According to the Lyme Disease Research Lab at Maine Medical Center Research Institute, tick populations are typically twice as high in invasive plant dominated areas.

 

Loss of Recreational Area

 

Invasive plant dominated areas can be almost impossible to walk through.  Many people enjoy hiking and riding ATVs through their woodlands, which can become very difficult in these areas! 

Asian bush honeysuckle

Asian bush honeysuckles are deciduous shrubs which grow to 6-15 feet in height. They have opposite, untoothed leaves and white, yellow, pink, rose, or red, tubular flowers in spring, and glossy red (sometimes yellow or orange) berries in summer. These berries grow in pairs at the base of the leaves and often remain in place into winter. Branches are hollow. Asian bush honeysuckles resemble vining Japanese honeysuckle.

Privet

Border privet is a deciduous shrub with simple, oblong, opposite leaves about 1-2 inches in length. These leaves have rounded tips and bases and are dark green above and lighter green below. Clusters of small, fragrant, white, trumpet-shaped flowers appear in late spring. The fruits of the privet are very small (less than ¼ inch in diameter), ripen to blue-black, and have a waxy coating. The bark is smooth and grayish brown, with short, raised, horizontal lines (“lenticels”).

Autumn olive

Autumn olive is a deciduous shrub reaching 3-20 feet in height with alternate, ovate, untoothed leaves 1-3 inches long. The upper surfaces of its leaves are dark green with silvery flecks, and the undersides are silvery. Spring flowers are white or yellow, and summer fruits are abundant, reddish berries, also with some flecks.

© 2018 by Brown County Native Woodlands Project, Inc.

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