Invasive Species

Some non-native plants and animals have found their way to our area, and they really seem to like it here. They often grow and spread quickly to exclude native species and disrupt the environment in ways we’re only starting to become aware of — sometimes with dramatic consequences.

Trouble with invasive species has been brewing for decades. Few of us alive today are old enough to recall how the American chestnut once formed valuable stands in our forests, until a tiny fungus arrived (~1908) in chestnut lumber from the orient and over the next 50 years essentially eliminated this useful tree. The more recent (~1988) introduction of the tiny zebra mussel is causing management problems in affected lakes. The attractive foliage and flowers of Japanese knotweed caused it to be planted by enthusiastic gardeners by the early 1900s, but it’s now difficult to control its spread.

Only recently have groups begun to react in an organized manner to the wide range of invasives approaching — or already within — our borders. The formation of an organized body whose primary focus is to understand and control invasives will become increasingly important towards securing funds needed to take effective action. In our region of the state, this body is known as the Catskill Region Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), and is one of eight partnership regions across the state.

For a quick look at some invasive plants in and around Delaware County, see our brochure: Invasive Plants In or Near Delaware County.

For information on how to control Japanese Knotweed, see our brochure: Controlling Japanese Knotweed.

For information about invasive insects and plant pests in New York, see Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS).

For advice on controlling invasive plants within woodlots, see Controlling Invasive Species in Woodlots.