One of the biggest threats to the ecosystem and pollinators is invasive plants. Invasive plants are indigenous to other regions (Exotics), and most are escapees from gardens. They are out of place and so they don't have natural predators in our ecosystem. They thrive and create vast stands of monocultures that crowd out native plants that pollinators and wildlife need to survive. They often reproduce prolifically and they can quickly take over a landscape, rendering it unrecognizable. Take for example those green mounds along the Saw Mill River Parkway that use to be trees. Unfortunately our area's vine problem is so bad it was the subject of a NY Times article!
Once established they may be impossible to control and eradicate. Unfortunately, Ardsley has a big problem with invasive plants in yards, public spaces and roadways. We need your help. The pollinators need your help. The ecosystem needs your help.
Invasive plants are bad new. They are also costly to manage and control. Plants such as Japanese Knotweed can break through pavement and foundations, causing expensive repairs. They are relentless. This is another reason why native plants are preferred: they are part of this ecosystem and there are natural checks and balances to keep them from running rampant. The best way to address invasive plants to get them while they are young, which is one of the only chances you will have to eradicate them on your property. Well established invasives will likely need professional and expensive control/eradication.
The most important first step is to know your invasives so you can stop them in their tracks before they get a foothold on your property. Show your landscaper the invasives on your property and add control of them to the regular yard maintenance chores, particularly vine management. And feel free to pull invasives out or cut them as you see them along the roadside!
This is an important issue and we have created a guide to the most common invasive plants found in Ardsley yards.
If you are not sure what you have in your yard and what to do to manage invasives we're here to help. The guides below will help in identification and we are also here to support you. Just contact us and request a consult or e-mail us.
General Guides for New York Invasives
This list includes some of the worst offenders in our area along with pictures and ways to manage an invasive problem.
This comprehensive guide helps you identify invasive plants and distinguish between their native look-likes.
Once you remove invasive plants you'll want to replace them with our gorgeous, carefree natives.
This list of invasive trees from NYS DOT provides a list of some of the worst invasive trees in NYS and also offers native alternatives.
This is a comprehensive list of invasive trees. Never buy a tree on this list at a nursery, box store or online!
Kudzu, Mile-a-Minute, Oriential Bittersweet, and Porcelain Berry are villian vines that kill our trees and other plants, but you may be surprised to hear that English Ivy, non-native Wisteria, and Wintercreeper are also bad. They have escaped from the garden and are playing havoc in our ecosystems.
This is a comprehensive list of invasive vines. Never buy a vine on this list at a nursery, or store or online!
Some of our worst offenders in Ardsley are Porcelain Berry, Chinese and Japanese Wisteria, Oriental Bittersweet, Japanese Honeysuckle and English Ivy. Help us control these vines by pulling and cutting.
Many ground covers have escaped from the garden and are now a problem in our ecosystem. This is a great list from Cornell Extension that lists non-native ground covers with better native alternatives for each. In our area English Ivy, non-native Pachysandra, Periwinkle, Goutweed and Creeping Jenny are particular problems.
There are shrubs on this list that may seem counter intuitive. For example, Butterfly Bush. Yes pollinators enjoy it for its nectar, but it reproduces quickly and degrades our ecosystems. Forsythia can also be a problem. Outside of its pretty early yellow blooms, it has no contribution to the ecosystem and can form dense stands that crowd out natives. Other bushes are clear problems in our area - Japanese Knotweed, Multi-flora Rose, Burning Bush, Japanese Barberry, Exotic Honeysuckle, Privet, Japanese Spirea, Japanese Wineberry, and Bamboo. Just walk through a forest or along a wooded edge and you'll often see this cast of characters taking over the landscape. Many of these plants are still sold in nurseries, big box stores and online. Please avoid them and, if you have them, consider removing them and replacing them with one of our lovely native bushes.
Invasive shrub list - do not buy these
Many of these grasses have happily escaped from our gardens. Japanese Stiltgrass has been taking over the landscape and if you see it on your property you'll want to get it under control ASAP before it is too late. Non-native Phragmites is another monster invasive grass that is taking over our wetlands. Early identification and control gives you a fighting chance.
A list of invasive grasses in the United States - avoid any grasses on this list.
Invasive plants, flowers, herbs
Sadly, this list is too large to fit on this webpage! Before you buy any non-native plant perform an internet search with the word invasive after the plant name to determine if it is a problem plant. You'll save yourself lots of headaches and money in the end. In our area there are some common bad actors that you will want to control if you see them pop up on your property: Garlic Mustard, Purple Loosestrife, Fig Buttercup, Mugwort, and Yellow Flag Iris are common invasives - some are still sold in the nursery trade.