Invasive Species Removal

Some weeds are so persistent, destructive, and difficult to eradicate that they have been designated as noxious. Maryland has a noxious weed law that requires landowners to control Canada thistle, johnsongrass, and shattercane on private property.  For effective control, both the seed and the root system of these weeds must be managed by mowing, cultivating, or treating with approved herbicide.

Plants that are widely known to out-compete native plants and quickly take over natural areas, but have not been designated as noxious weeds, are called invasive plants.

Many common invasive plants are used in landscapes. Eradicate invasive plants on your property and before you purchase a new plant, be sure it is not a listed invasive plant.

Here are a few examples of common invasive and noxious plants:

         Chinese Silvergrass  Miscanthus sinensis Anderss.

         Chinese Silvergrass
 Miscanthus sinensis Anderss.

                English Ivy                Hedera helix

                English Ivy
               Hedera helix

         Japanese Stiltgrass       Microstegium vimineum

         Japanese Stiltgrass
      Microstegium vimineum

              Multiflora Rose        Rosa multiflora Thunb

              Multiflora Rose
       Rosa multiflora Thunb

         Oriental Bittersweet  Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb

         Oriental Bittersweet
 Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb

   Phragmites/Common Reed         Phragmites australis

   Phragmites/Common Reed
        Phragmites australis

What you can do ...

  • Identify the invasive plants in your yard or community and take action to get rid of them. Many invasives can be controlled by hand pulling. See Plant Invaders of the Mid Atlantic Natural Areas book for more information on identification and eradication techniques.  Single invasive plant fact sheets are available from the Plant Conservation Alliance.
  • Replace areas full of invasives with native plants. Native flora provide crucial habitat to native fauna and require much less maintenance.
  • Plant a diverse selection of native plants to support a larger number of Maryland species.
  • Volunteer with a local environmental or watershed organization to remove invasive species in parks and communities in the area.
  • Never travel with firewood from home; buy wood when you reach your destination.  Invasive species such as the Emerald Ash Borer have been spread this way throughout Maryland causing wide destruction of native ash trees.