Lonicera Maackii - Cultivation and Uses - As An Invasive Species

As An Invasive Species

Spread of this plant is illegal or controlled in some areas of the United States due to its well documented invasive character. It is listed as a "invasive, banned" species in Connecticut, "prohibited" in Massachusetts, and a "Class B noxious weed" in Vermont. It is also officially listed as an invasive species by government agencies in Wisconsin and Tennessee.

This plant is adaptable and successful in a wide range of conditions. In the United States, Amur honeysuckle was once planted to control erosion, and as hedges. It spread quickly as birds eat the fruit and disperse the seeds, and was soon naturalized. Notably, in deciduous forest understories of the eastern United States it forms dense growths with thick canopies that shade out native shrubs, young trees, and wild flowers. Uncontrolled, these growths create a near monoculture of Amur Honeysuckle. This species poses a serious threat not only to the diversity of the ecosystems which they invade but also to forest regeneration itself. as the plant is known for reducing the growth and diversity of native seedlings. Moreover studies have shown that plant is responsible for having a negative impact on birds, and tadpoles. In 2010 a study showed that plant may also be linked with tick-born diseases such as Erlichiosis.

Honeysuckle can be controlled by cutting, flaming, or burning the plant to root level and repeating on two-week increments until nutrient reserves in the roots are depleted. To ensure eradication newly cut stumps should be treated with herbicide. Control through prescribed burning has been found to be most effective during the seed dispersal phase (late summer, early fall). Honeysuckle can also be controlled through annual applications of glyphosate which thoroughly soak the leaves, or through grubbing of the shallowly rooted young plants. Both of these methods are only practical if high labor costs and soil damage are not of concern.

Due to the invasive nature of this species and the ecological threat it possess it may be inadvisable to cultivate this plant in climates similar to those found where this species has become invasive (e.g. eastern United States). It has been suggested that existing specimens found outside of their native range in east Asia should be removed and replaced with alternative non-invasive species. Possible alternative fast growing, shade tolerant, deciduous shrubs include Calycanthus floridus, Cornus mas, Cornus sericea, Forsythia hybrids, Hydrangea spp., Syringa vulgaris, Viburnum cassinoides, Viburnum dentatum, Viburnum dilatatum, Viburnum opulus, Viburnum prunifolium, Viburnum trilobum, Weigela florida.

Read more about this topic:  Lonicera Maackii, Cultivation and Uses

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