News Release

Forest Service Offers Free Guide to Managing Invasive Plants

January 26, 2011

The cover of James Miller's new publication.
The cover of James Miller's new publication.

Auburn, AL — The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) is distributing free copies of a new guide, titled "A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests," that gives homeowners, gardeners, land managers and others information on controlling and removing invasive plants in the South. 

"The guide provides the latest information on how to create and carry out prevention programs, implement management practices, and rehabilitate and restore land," said Jim Miller, Ph.D., an emeritus SRS research ecologist based in Auburn, Ala., and lead author of the book. "The guide serves as a staple for foresters, natural resource managers and others who want to remove invasive plants that have become a serious problem in the 13 southern states."

Invasive plants often harm forests and other natural areas by pushing out native plants, which degrades habitat and adversely affects wildlife. Exotic plants often reduce forest productivity, native plant and animal diversity, and water quality and quantity. 

Jim Miller authored “A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests” with Steven Manning, president of Invasive Plant Control, Inc., and Stephen Enloe, Ph.D., weed management specialist at Auburn University. Miller is considered one of the foremost authorities on invasive plants in the South. 

Published by SRS, the book provides information on developing strategies for combating 56 of the most pervasive invasive species in the South such as kudzu, tallowtree, tree-of-heaven and Japanese honeysuckle. The 120-page guide informs readers on how invasive plants spread, preventative measures that help reduce their distribution, and how to develop management plans. The guide combines 392 colorful photos with details on herbicides, application methods, biological controls, tools and mechanical treatments, grazing techniques and more.

The guide is the companion book to "A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests," which SRS unveiled in August 2010.

People can request free copies of "A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests" by sending their name and complete mailing address, along with book title, author and publication number GTR-SRS-131 to:, or by calling 828-257-4830.

"A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests" is posted in PDF format on the SRS website at


EDITOR’S NOTE: The following are additional quotes/audio clips with Jim Miller talking about the new management guide:

Audio Cut 1:
File: MP3
Intro: “Over a two-year period….”
Outro: “…..and restoration.”
Length: 35 seconds

"Over a two year period, my co-authors, uh Steven Manning, president of the company, uh Invasive Plant Control, and Dr. Stephen Enloe, who's the invasive weed specialist with the Auburn University Department of Agronomy and I assembled the latest information from many sources on how to organize and enact the prevention programs we need, and build cooperative strategies, across the region and states, and implement integrated procedures for management, and site rehabilitation and restoration."

Audio Cut 2:
File: MP3
Intro: "Unfortunately…."
Outro: "….do you work."
Length: 50 seconds

"Unfortunately, invasions of nonnative plants into our forests continue to worsen, and mostly these are unseen to most citizens, because, uh, you have to be in the forests, although you see them along the edges. And they include some new foreign species that have come in. They come here, all these invasive plants, without their natural insect and disease controls, which make them more competitive, you know, than our native species. Uh, this invasion increasingly erodes many things of value to us. Obviously, forest productivity, but also hinders forest use and management activities- you just can’t get through these thickets and infestations, you can’t go through a kudzu infestation to do your work."