Exotic invasive plants of the Northeast

Connecticut is home to many plants, some of which are considered invasive exotics. They are called exotic because they are not native to our region, and invasive because they are able to reproduce on their own outside of cultivation and have become so abundant that they cause a variety of problems.

Invasive Plant Removal Policy

Adopted Dec. 2005, updated 2017
Plant Collections Committee
Invasive plants are defined as those plants that escape from cultivation, or their original location, and spread relatively rapidly without human assistance. Spread may be by vegetative or sexual reproduction. These plants are usually exotic, non-native species, although this depends on the definition of native.
It is the intention of the Arboretum to manage invasive plant populations with the goal of complete eradication when possible and practical, and of maintaining low, controlled levels of invasives if eradication is not practical.
Implementation of the policy is based on the following considerations:
1. Location of the infestation – removal from cultivated landscape settings is a higher priority than minimally managed or wild locations. 
2. Invasiveness of the species – Plants known to be extremely invasive are a higher priority.
3. Resources available – Invasive removal is often very labor intensive and the limitations of staff numbers and budget levels must be considered.
An Integrated Pest Management approach will be used in invasive plant management. Control procedures will be based on an understanding of species biology and ecology, and mechanical and “organic” methods will be evaluated before herbicides are used.
Herbicides will be used in strict conformity with state and federal law. Only the most selective herbicide application technique that is deemed effective, and the lowest effective concentration of chemical, will be used.
Policy in Natural Areas.
Since our natural areas have been the location of long term ecological research for many decades, some of which monitors the spread of invasive plants, invasive plant control must occur on a case by case basis, and include consultation faculty who may utilize the area in question for research or teaching. A policy for these areas is still under consideration.

For more information on this topic, see the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group website.?