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It's OPEN SEASON on Asian Honeysuckle!

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Asian honeysuckle are just one of many foreign plants that have escaped cultivation and are destroying ecosystems and causing the collapse of food webs. This may sound overly dramatic, but I assure you, it is not.

Because foreign plants have not co-evolved with our native insects, they don't support them in the same way as our native plants, AND they crowd them out by emerging earlier in spring and staying green later in fall, blocking plants below them from photosynthesizing, a crucial means of survival for all plant species. Often when you remove honeysuckle and other invasive plants, native seeds and root systems that have lain dormant in the soil can re-emerge!

Right now while the ground is soft from recent rainfall, and our native plants have shed their leaves, honeysuckle are at their most vulnerable. They're more easily spotted, since they're often the only green plant in the understory, and because their root systems are shallow, the smaller plants actually pull up quite easily!

For larger honeysuckle, I'll admit that after years of battling them, I learned on a native plant site on Facebook that the easiest and quickest way to deal with large caliper bushes is to cut them level to the ground (or as close as you can) and paint the stump with RoundUp immediately. This method works best when the plant is actively growing. By treating only the stump of the invasive, you'll eradicate it without impacting neighboring plants.

After you remove honeysuckle or other invasives, it may be good to observe through a growing season to see what plants reappear in their place.

These are not by any means the only successful means of eradication, but when managing 10 acres as I am, they're the most efficient methods I've found. Feel free to comment below with additional thoughts or tips you've learned in your own gardening spaces.

Picture credit: Scioto Gardens Native Plant Nursery in Delaware Ohio.

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