Invasive Species

When invasive plants become established, they have the ability to overcome native species, which threatens the insects and wildlife that depend on the native plants for survival. That’s why it’s so important to know the plants on your land and to take steps to eradicate those that don’t belong.

ATFS Standard 5: Indicator 5.3.1:
Landowner should make practical efforts to promote forest health, including prevention, control, or response to disturbances such as wildland fire, invasive species and other pests, pathogens, or unwanted vegetation, to achieve specific management objectives.

General Information

Forest Threat Facts: Invasive Species (USDA)
Plants, animals, and other living things can cause harm when introduced to new areas. Known as non-native invasive species, they can thrive in areas outside their natural population range due to a combination of favorable environmental conditions and a lack of native controls such as predators or herbivores (plant-eating animals).

Invasive Plants and Pests in Your North Carolina Woods (My N.C. Woods)
As a woodland owner, your best line of defense is information. Once you’ve learned about the threat that invasives pose to your woods, you can take the appropriate action to eliminate or treat forest pests and pathogens. Walk your land regularly to look for signs of these invaders.

Invasive Plants and Your Forest (N.C. State Extension)
Non-native plants are referred to by many names: exotic, nonindigenous, alien or even noxious weeds. Non-native plant species become invasive when they spread and reproduce beyond their area of origin, aggressively dominate or cause harm in a new area.

Invasive Plants and their Impact on Wildlife (video) (ForestHer NC)
This webinar provides a general overview of invasive plants and how they affect the natural world. Learn about some of the resources available to help landowners identify invasive plants on their property.

Drought and Invasive Species (video) (USDA Forest Service)
Drought creates the potential for invasive plant species to increase in diversity and abundance in a variety of ecosystems, often mediated by the occurrence of disturbances (wildfire, insect outbreaks).

Invasives 101 (N.C. Invasive Plant Control)
Everyone in Southeastern US is familiar with kudzu, which has become the poster child for invasive plants. Scenes of cars, buildings and entire fields engulfed by the plant have circulated over the years. NC-IPC strives to prevent the next kudzu from invading our forests, crops, and our personal properties. Here are a few examples of how invasive plants affect North Carolina.

Alien Invaders! (N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission)
Ever wonder if there is life on another planet? Well, what if you knew there were alien invaders right in your own backyard? That is the case for most private landowners in the state of North Carolina.

What are Non-Native Invasive Species (N.C. Forest Service)
Non-native species or exotic species are organisms that have been introduced to regions outside their natural or historical home ranges


Mistaken Identity? Invasive Plants and Their Native Look-Alikes (Delaware Department of Agriculture)
While some invasive plants are easily recognized, many others are difficult to distinguish from native flora. This is a photographic guide to help identify invasive and native plants.

Non-native Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A Field Guide for Identification and Control (USDA)
This book provides information on accurate identification and effective control of the 33 nonnative plants and groups that are currently invading the forests of the 13 Southern state.

Invasive Plants in North Carolina  (N.C. Forest Service)
Invasive exotic plants are those plants transported outside their normal home ranges and cause damage or harm in their new location. In their new homes, these alien species are free from the natural competition, herbivores, insects and diseases that normally keep populations in check.


Dealing With Invasive Plants in an Urbanizing Forest (N.C. State University)
This presentation discusses the introduction, identification, impact and management of non-native invasive plants.

Controlling Invasive Plants (N.C. Botanical Garden)
The goal of this booklet is to educate residents of the North Carolina Piedmont about the common invasive plant species of their gardens and yards, and those found in surrounding natural areas. A further goal is to provide information on how to control invasive plants in the landscape.

Invasive Plant Best Management Practices (video) (U.S. Forest Service)
Learn how to create best management practices that help identify and minimize the spread of invasive species.

WEED ALERT: Control Invasive Trees (Blue Ridge PRISM)
Spring is the perfect time of year to go after invasive trees on your land. Whether they are taking over a pasture or wildflower meadow, popping up along a roadside or driveway, or invading a forest edge or clearing, invasive trees spell trouble. Like all invasive plants, they outcompete desirable native plants and provide scarce resources for birds, bees, and other wildlife.

Cogongrass Can be Stopped (USDA Southern Research Station)
Ranked the seventh worst weed in the world, cogongrass grows on every continent except Antarctica and is particularly destructive to the ecological structure of forests and natural areas, where the weed can literally take over understories.

Privet Biology and Management in Southeastern U.S. Forests (video) (Southern Regional Extension Forestry)
Once a prized landscape shrub, privet has become extremely common in many wooded areas, impacting wildlife, native vegetation, and biodiversity. Privet management is essential when reforesting harvested areas.