Cogongrass Continues to Invade the South

It grows on every continent except Antarctica and has earned a reputation as one of the worst weeds on earth — and according to U.S. Forest Service emeritus scientist Jim Miller, cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is without doubt one of the most threatening invasive species in the South. In addition to cogongrass, it goes by  other…  More 

When Privet’s Removed, Native Plants and Pollinators Return

Forests infested with privet invoke a kind of despair in people attuned to the problem of invasive plants. Privet invades a forest quickly, sprawling across the understory and growing into thickets that crowd out native plants and change the very ecology of an area. Even if the woody shrub can be removed effectively, can a…  More 

The Mid-South Forests of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas

Like most regions of the U.S., the future of the Mid-South forests of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas is one of challenge. A report by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station outlines those challenges and presents options for managing forests over the next half century. The Southern Forest Futures Project (SFFP) started in 2008 as…  More 

Native Trees Naturally Fight Invasives in Some Eastern Forests

In this modern society, non-stop movement of people and goods means that invasive species will continue to move and spread, too. Recent research indicates that invasive plants can be found in nearly half of the forests of the eastern United States, raising concerns about the sustainability of these ecosystems and the benefits and services they…  More 

A Big-Picture View of the Invasive Plant Problem

Invasive plants are increasingly altering the structure and function of our natural environment, and now researchers have determined how far-reaching the problem has become. According to a study conducted by U.S. Forest Service and university scientists and published in the journal NeoBiota, at least one invasive species is present in 39 percent of forested plots sampled nationwide…  More 

Plant Invasions Across the United States: Patterns and Clues

Garlic mustard, Japanese stiltgrass, Oriental bittersweet, and other non-native invasive plants are creeping across backyards, parks, forests, and roadsides throughout the southeastern U.S. Scientists are still trying to understand what drives their relentless spread. Invasions are often assessed by measuring species richness, or the number of non-native species known to grow in a certain area.…  More 

Field Guide to Invasive Plants in Southern Forests

The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station publication A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests provides a comprehensive identification guide to nonnative trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, ferns and forbs currently invading forests and other natural areas of the southeastern United States. The information included in the guide is also available as an…  More 

Invasive Tallowtree Widespread in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Gulf Coast

Nonnative, invasive plant species pose a threat to forest resources throughout the South. Increasingly, nonnative plants infiltrate landscapes, eroding and replacing native plant communities. This can have irreversible and degrading effects on critical, human-sustaining ecosystems. Tallowtree (Triadica sebifera) is one of the most pervasive exotic tree species in the South and is known to replace entire stands…  More 

Mississippi Alluvial Valley Forests: The Next 50 Years

The Southern Forest Futures Project (SFFP) started in 2008 as an effort to study and understand the various forces reshaping the forests across the 13 states of the Southeast. Chartered by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region and Southern Research Station (SRS) along with the Southern Group of State Foresters, the project examined a variety…  More 

Controlling Cogongrass

Has cogongrass invaded your land? The first step—and the easiest—is identification. Cogongrass has some features that make it fairly easy to identify. Compared to the deep green hues of other grasses typically found in the South, the leaves of cogongrass appear yellowish green, and the white upper midrib of the leaves tends to be slightly…  More