Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vanderbilt Invasives Resource

I love the many photos on this page from Vanderbilt. It makes identification of these super common Middle TN invasives easy: http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioimages/pages/invasive-plants.htm

Tragically, we have both bush honeysuckle and non-native privet at the little victorian. The privet is staying put for the time being, but I reluctantly admit that the bush honeysuckle has to go. I actually like the bush honeysuckle in our yard. It is in a place in the yard that needs small trees-- and it is free and already mature. It keeps its leaves later than the big tress and grows them early. It makes nice flowers. Buying big, native trees is probably not in the budget this spring, so that area is going to look pretty sad for some time. We could plant tiny, native trees or perhaps non-native, but non-invasive trees picked up cheaply at the farmer's market.

So why is the bush honeysuckle relatively high on the list of things that need to change? Not because it is invasive. But because it makes berries that birds eat... BUT with a wicked twist. The berries are actually unhealthy for the birds. It's like fast food. They fill up on the honeysuckle berries, but the berries lack the nutrition to sustain the birds through their migrations, etc.

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