Invasive Species Management

Since the first sailing ship carried the colonists across the ocean to the new world, humans have been responsible for the introduction of non-native plant and animal species to our region. Many of these species had no natural predators in North America and gradually became invasive, taking habitat away from naturally occurring native species. Some species were accidentally introduced, arriving in the wood of shipping pallets, in packing materials or in a ships bilge. Others were purposely imported before science understood how they may interact with their new environment.

Plant species like Kudzu and Phragmites were introduced to help control slope and shoreline erosion while other species like English Ivy, Japanese Honeysuckle and Bamboo were introduced as landscape plants and quickly spread into the wild. Still other non-native species like Autumn Olive, Russian Olive and Porcelain Berry were brought in as potential food sources for livestock and wildlife.

It took years but we have now learned the error of our ways. Many natural areas have been over-run by invasive plant species, reducing their value as filters, flood storage, storm protection and wildlife habitat. This problem is exacerbated in created and restored habitats because invasive species are typically quick to colonize disturbed soils. It now takes a concentrated program of integrated control over an extended period to remove these invasive plants and replace them with the desirable native species.

Emerald Forest has held a Pesticide Business License issued by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services since 1991. We currently have two Certified Pesticide Applicators and four Registered Technicians all specifically trained to apply herbicides in native environments. A management prescription including a variety of mechanical, biological and chemical controls is developed for each site on an individual basis.

Do you have a problem vine or shrub taking over your landscape or do the terms of your permit or project documents require long term control of one or more invasive plant species? Let Emerald Forest develop an Invasive Species Management Prescription tailored to your site.