Healthy Forests: Invasive Plants and Your Forests

Hilary Cole, Graduate Research Assistant; Mark Megalos, Forestry Extension Specialist; and Christina Temple, Forestry Graduate Student

Forest Health, Forest Management, and Environmental Management

A plant species is considered invasive because it spreads outside its area of origin, reproduces without cultivation, and causes harm in a new area. Common examples from the Southeast include kudzu, cogongrass, and honeysuckle. They are present in nearly one-tenth of southern forest acres, covering a total of 19 million acres. Invasive plants will likely continue to spread under any conditions but may expand more rapidly as the climate becomes more variable, potentially doubling their extent in the next 50 years.

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