Information on Invasive Plants

Mr. Logan Senack, the CT Invasive Plant Coordinator, UCONN College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dept. of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, was invited to speak at this meeting on invasive plant species to get this information out to Beacon Falls residents.

The Commission wishes to express our most sincere thanks to Mr. Senack for the time and effort he put in to share this valuable information.

Topics Mr. Senack covered included:

  • There are good plants, such as cardinal flower, native milkweed, are good for wildlife.
  • The invasive, problematic plants are a minority, about of 10% of all non-native plants that have no benefit to other plants or animals.
  • Non-native plants mean they appeared after Colonization, while native plants were here before the Colonists arrived.
  • Invasive plants do harm to economics, environment or to human health and can be spread by birds and animals
  • Multiflora rose has been spotted along highways
  • Japanese knotweed is difficult to get rid of and it displaces other plants
  • Burning bush/winged euonymus – takes over where other low plants would be, it has high levels of seeding, interferes with seedling regeneration making it too shaded for the younger seedlings to survive.
  • Mile-a-minute vine – at this time, it exists in towns surrounding Beacon Falls but it has not yet been found in Beacon Falls. It is an annual vine, with triangular leaves and small barbs on stems. Mr. Senack brought a sample plant to show. This vine can grow up to 6” per day under optimum conditions. It has been in CT for 15 years.
  • Kudzu – perennial, usually prevalent in the South, it has been spotted in Greenwich & Branford and other towns along the CT coast. Currently it is being monitored and controlled.
  • Phragmites – a tall grass which grows to 10-15’, it is salt tolerant, grows in marshes, and provides no food source for insects or animals.

Mr. Senack provided informational handouts for the commissions including:

  • A list of 9 specific criteria for invasive plants to be classified as such, per state law
  • The CT Invasive Plant List: plants that are banned by state law, which cannot be sold, purchased, planted, moved, transplanted, cultivated, imported, or distributed and is punishable by fines.
  • UCONN Mile-a-minute Vine informational card with more information here
  • Guidelines for Disposal of Terrestrial Invasive Plants
  • Guidelines for Disposal of Aquatic Invasive Plants. It is recommended to remove any vegetation from boats before transporting it.

Mr. Senack’s suggestions to the Conservation Commission:

  • Make a plan before you act on invasive species
  • Inventory the site first to see what’s there, and set goals for any removal
  • Offer a native plant exchange program: replacing invasive plants with native plants
  • Education: identify the invasive plants (UCONN has information display boards to loan)
  • Additional information is available here
  • Provide advice on how to dispose of invasive plants. For example, the Asiatic bittersweet vine wraps around branches and strangles trees. In late summer/fall, cut the vine, leave in tree, immediately put herbicide on the stump so it will penetrate the root system.
  • Use smart phone applications such as Eddmaps: from the University of GA (a suite of apps for invasive species) and IPANE – Invasive Plant Atlas for New England.