What is an Invasive Species?
Invasive species are non-native species that can cause harm to the environment, the economy or to human health. Invasives come from all around the world. As international trade increases, so does the rate of invasive species introductions. Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to New York's biodiversity. They cause or contribute to: habitat degradation and loss; the loss of native fish, wildlife and tree species; the loss of recreational opportunities and income; and crop damage and diseases in humans and livestock (from the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation).
First imported as a hedging material, Buckthorn out-competes native plants, degrades wildlife habitat, and lacks natural "controls" such as insects or diseases.
Exotic bush honeysuckle is perhaps the most widespread exotic invasive in the U.S. Widely dispersed by birds, it is now found in at least 38 states.
Giant hogweed is one of New York's most striking and dangerous invasive plants. Learn how to recognize and manage it safely on our site.
This bamboo-like plant is shade-tolerant and grows from 3 to 15 feet tall, in disturbed areas, often near water sources.
Introduced in the 1860s as an ornamental and for erosion control, Oriental Bittersweet is a vine that smothers plants and uproots trees due to its weight.
Also known as China sumac or varnishtree, the invasive Tree-of-Heaven can damage and foundations in urban areas.
Last updated October 3, 2014