NYS Invasive Species Awareness Week

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New York’s Invasive Species Awareness Week #NYISAW begins Sunday, June 6!

Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is a program established to raise public awareness of the economic and ecological impacts of invasive species to prevent their spread. New York State is particularly vulnerable to invasive species due to its role as a center for international trade and travel.

Invasive species are harmful to our natural resources; fish, wildlife, plants and overall ecosystem health. They can disrupt natural communities and their ecological processes by outcompeting native species for food and habitats and sometimes even cause their extinction.

Managing invasive species is a long-term effort. Public awareness and vigilance are key components to preventing the establishment and spread of invasive species. You can take action in your backyard.

Multi-flora Rose

During ISAW week, take the Invasive to Native gardening challenge by finding a patch of invasive species and replanting with native plants. Many local garden centers can help. One common invasive, multiflora rose is showing up right now, (May – June.) These drought tolerant fast spreading plants are full of white flowers, but don’t let these panicles of white fool you.

The multi-flora rose crowds out native plants and reduces biodiversity and can quickly grow up to 12 feet. Since multiflora rose is not easily controlled, the goal has become to eradicate it. The best method for getting rid of this plant is through a combination of mechanical and chemical techniques. Mowing is a first action to take. It prevents seedlings from further development. For a fully developed plant, digging, pulling, and cutting the bush to a stump is effective if you treat the stump with an herbicide.

Virginia rose

Once the area is cleared, plant the native Virginia rose (Rosa virginiana) in its place. Their pretty pink fragrant flowers in June- August attract butterflies. The rose hips or fruit is rich in vitamin C and can be eaten. They also make delicious jams and can be steeped to make rose hip tea.

Free public events and invasive species challenges are being offered including:

For more information and other tips on Invasive to Native, visit Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District at www.waynecountynysoilandwater.org/ISAW or the Finger Lakes PRISM http://fingerlakesinvasives.org/ for a full list of regional events.

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