Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) - to identify and control invasive plants

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Good News for 2020: Individuals and Groups Recognized for Invasive Plant Action in Missouri

by Tina Casagrand

Contact: Tina Casagrand, 417-299-1794, [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Good News for 2020: Individuals and Groups Recognized for Invasive Plant Action in Missouri

Awards program of the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force recognizes exemplary work in invasive plant early detection and control. 

JEFFERSON CITY (November 12, 2019)—As public awareness grows about the harmful effects of invasive plants, the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) recognized two individuals and one group in Missouri who have exhibited outstanding work controlling invasive plants on property across the state.

 

2020 Invasive Plant Action Award for Individual Citizen: Jason Bryan

MoIP members chose Boone County landowner Jason Bryan as the recipient of the Individual Citizen award. “Like most landowners I deal with, Jason was interested in managing his property for better wildlife habitat to increase deer and turkey use, but most importantly he wanted to leave the property in better shape that it currently was,” Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Private Land Conservationist Ryan Lueckenhoff wrote in his nomination. He noted that multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora), wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei `Coloratus’) and bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii and Lonicera x bella) were common through the wooded areas on the property, and they were getting worse. On one rocky outcrop, Lueckenhoff says, “Bush honeysuckle was so thick that you could not see from the top of the hillside through to the bottom and little to no wildlife were using the area.” He worked with Bryan to develop a 10-year plan for the property, with invasive species removal at the top of the list. The Bryan family started removing invasive plants the first year and have seen incredible success, with new visibility and returned wildlife.

hillside after invasive honeysuckle treatment

Hillside in which honeysuckle was covering the rock faces, which are in the background. Sixty percent of honeysuckle had a 4-7’’ base. Bryan used a hack and squirt method to treat the invasive plants and anticipates needing to follow up with spraying new shoots in a year. Photo provided by Jason Bryan.

Members of MoIP have gathered resources, tools, and guides that help landowners understand, assess, and manage invasive and exotic plants  commonly found in Missouri, including those found on Bryan’s property. Lueckenhoff added that Bryan understands the importance of follow-up treatments. “His commitment to this removal effort has been awesome to see!”

 

2020 Invasive Plant Action Award for Individual Professional: Roger Frazier

MDC and MoDOT crews on right of way

Spearheading the development of the Southeast Missouri Region Invasive Species Strike Team is just one of Roger Frazier’s invasive plant accomplishments. Photo provided by Jan Dellamano.

MoIP is proud to present MDC Priority Habitat Coordinator Roger Frazier with the Individual Professional award. “Roger Frazier has a long history of supporting Conservation for all the right reasons,” writes MDC private land services chief Jason Jensen in his nomination. “For him, it is not just a job, and not even just a profession; it is his passion and his lifelong commitment to protect, conserve, and serve Missouri’s Natural Heritage. But putting all that aside, we are nominating him for this award because of his recent efforts that have gone way beyond even what the most demanding of us would call above and beyond.”

Among Frazier’s invasive plant success stories are: 

  • developing the Southeast Missouri Region Invasive Species Strike Team. Notable for acting early on preventing several invasive plants (primarily common teaselDipsacus fullonum; cutleaf teaselDipsacus laciniatus; and spotted knapweedCentaurea stoebe) from spreading throughout the Southeast region, thus protecting Conservation Opportunity Areas. Frazier worked closely and tirelessly with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to manage highway right of ways for preventing the species’ spread.
  • serving as a member of MDC’s Invasive Species Coordination Team since its inception.
  • helping to start and secure funding for the Scenic Rivers Invasive Species Partnership, and
  • working with the City of Farmington and AmeriCorps on the Engler Park Eradication project.

Furthermore, Frazier’s duties as Priority Habitat Coordinator have kept him continually engaged with both MDC and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff on invasive species management on private land. “For those of us that work alongside Roger, even these words do not fully express the level of commitment and contribution Roger has made towards true invasive species management in Missouri,” Jensen writes.

 

2020 Invasive Plant Action Award for Group Collaboration: Jason Jensen, Jan Dellamano, Roger Frazier, Chris Rutledge, Mark Auffenberg, and Tony Jaco

mule vehicle and spraying invasives on roadside

Two state agencies and a nonprofit organization are engaged in a long-term project to address the growing problem of invasive plant spread on highway rights-of-ways. Photo provided by Chris Rutledge.

This group collaboration started in 2007 as a grassroots effort led by Jan Dellamano and the local MoDOT shed. Over the years, it has transformed into a long-term commitment to address the growing problem of invasive plant spread on highway rights-of-ways (ROW). This effort has been effective in stopping the spread of extremely invasive plants such as spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe L. subsp. micranthos) and teasel (Dipsacus fullonum L. and D. laciniatus)

This project has had many facets including conceptualizing, planning, gaining and developing administrative and budgetary support, equipment, and implementation on the ground.  All of this occurred with the cooperation of two state agencies (MDC and MoDOT), and a nonprofit organization, the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF). (MPF is excluded from the award, due to the nature of MoIP’s being housed under MPF’s Grow Native! program). 

I drive I-55 between Cape Girardeau to St. Louis with regularity, and I can see a clear difference between areas impacted by this arrangement and those that have no such treatment,” writes Tony Jaco, Southeast Regional Administrator for MDC, in his nomination. “I have witnessed a decline of teasel, sericia lespedeza, autumn olive, and spotted knapweed. This impacts the area treated with herbicides specifically, but it has a larger reach as the mowing equipment used by MODOT will not have carry as much seed debris from invasives which leads to spread of the invasives. It also benefits the watersheds I-55 touches because seed stock will not be flowing down stream to infect new properties.”

This pilot program has caught on and is being considered and/ or replicated in other parts of the state. 

 

The Action Awards seek to demonstrate how controlling the spread of  invasive plants on Missouri farms, forests, woodlands, prairies, gardens, roadsides and along waterways is wise stewardship. A recommendation by a natural resource professional is required to be eligible. Members of MoIP evaluate nominations. “There are many individuals and groups carrying out impressive invasive plant control in every corner of the state,” says Carol Davit, chair of MoIP and executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. “We want to recognize those doing exemplary work and present them with an aware at an event of the awardee’s choice to be honored in front of their peers.”

By definition, invasive plants are those not native to a region whose abundance and/or rapid spread  harm economic and environmental resources. For more information on the awards program, please visit https://moinvasives.org/moip-invasive-plant-action-awards/

 

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The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) is a resource of Grow Native!—a 19-year-old native plant marketing and education program serving the lower Midwest. Grow Native! is administratively housed by the nonprofit Missouri Prairie Foundation. For more information about MoIP, visit www.moinvasives.org, email [email protected] or call 417-299-1794; for more on the Grow Native! program at grownative.org or for more on the Missouri Prairie Foundation visit moprairie.org.

Awards Presented for Invasive Plant Action in Missouri

by Tina Casagrand
Awards Presented for Invasive Plant Action in Missouri
Socially distanced members of the award-winning team pictured above are (front, kneeling, from let): Kara Tvedt, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Nate Muenks MDC and MoIP, Tyler Goodwyn, Greene County. (Standing, from left) Glen Locke, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Roddy Rogers, City Utilities of Springfield; Mike Kromrey, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks; Brent Stock, James River Basin Partnership; Ashton Stamper, Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources.

New awards program of the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force to recognize exemplary work in invasive plant early detection and control. 

As public awareness grows about the harmful effects of invasive plants, the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) bestowed new awards this year to recognize outstanding work controlling invasive plant species on property in Missouri. 

MoIP Chair Carol Davit presented Columbia Public Schools K-12 Science Coordinator Mike Szydlowski with the Invasive Plant Action Award for an Individual during the district’s October 12 school board meeting. Past Vice-chair Nate Muenks presented the Southwest Missouri Hydrilla Working Group with the Invasive Plant Action Award for a Collaborative Group during the Fellows Lake Hydrilla Event on August 12.

Carol Davit and Mike Szydlowski stand for invasive plant award

MoIP Chair Carol Davit poses for a socially distanced photo with Mike Szydlowski, who won the first MoIP Action Award for Individuals.

Szydlowski coordinated science teachers and students in a district-wide effort to remove invasive bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii and Lonicera x bella). According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, “Woodlands invaded by bush honeysuckle have dramatically reduced diversity and abundance of native plants compared to uninvaded woodlands, and severe infestations develop into impenetrable thickets in which native plants are almost completely eliminated.” Szydlowski’s project is responsible for eradicating approximately 2 million plants. In 2019 the project’s student volunteers accumulated a little over 7,000 service hours. 

hydrilla working group stand for award

Socially distanced members of the award-winning team pictured above are (front, kneeling, from let): Kara Tvedt, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Nate Muenks MDC and MoIP, Tyler Goodwyn, Greene County. (Standing, from left) Glen Locke, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Roddy Rogers, City Utilities of Springfield; Mike Kromrey, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks; Brent Stock, James River Basin Partnership; Ashton Stamper, Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources.

The Southwest Missouri Hydrilla Working Group is a collaborative effort among representatives from City Utilities of Springfield, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources—Southwest Regional Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Pomme de Terre and Stockton Lake), Greene County, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, the James River Basin Partnership, and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to detect and manage Hydrilla. In the summer of 2012, the exotic invasive plant hydrilla was verified in several private impoundments along South Fork, a headwater tributary to the Pomme de Terre River in rural Greene County, Missouri.  Since then, it has been detected in impoundments in the upper Pomme de Terre River, Little Sac River, James River, and Niangua River watersheds. Currently, hydrilla has been found in 35 sites in southwest Missouri. 

Hydrilla’s dense vegetative mats can clog intake structures at water power generation and water supply facilities and can also have negative impacts on recreational boating. States with heavy hydrilla infestations are spending millions of dollars annually to control hydrilla, which is frequently referred to as “the worst aquatic weed in the country.” A significant highlight for the Hydrilla Eradication project in 2019 was the addition of several more sites to the “monitoring-only” phase. Nate Muenks, MDC’s natural resource management planner and past vice-chair of MoIP, presented the working group with its award in August.

A recommendation by a natural resource professional is required to be eligible. Members of MoIP evaluate nominations. MoIP is a resource of the Grow Native! program and the Missouri Prairie Foundation. 

“There are many individuals and groups carrying out impressive invasive species control in every corner of the state,” says Carol Davit, chair of MoIP and executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. “We want to recognize those doing exemplary work and present them with an aware at an event of the awardee’s choice to be honored in front of their peers.”

By definition, invasive plants are those not native to a region whose abundance and/or rapid spread  harm economic and environmental resources. The Action Awards seek to demonstrate how controlling the spread of  invasive plants on Missouri farms, forests, woodlands, prairies, gardens, roadsides and along waterways is wise stewardship. 

For more information, please visit our Invasive Plant Action Awards page.

Missouri Department of Agriculture Asks Residents to Report Unsolicited Seed Shipments

by Tina Casagrand

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Agriculture has received reports from residents of unsolicited seeds being delivered from foreign countries such as China and surrounding areas. Missouri’s announcement follows several states who have also reported packages of these seeds being delivered across the United States. Consistent with nationwide reports, the packages were labeled as jewelry, specifically stud earrings, bracelets and other accessories.

It is important to take steps to prevent the introduction of invasive species into Missouri to ensure safety of the environment, livestock and plants. The full risk associated with the seeds in question is unknown at this time. However, the seeds could be an invasive species that has the potential to destroy native plants and damage crops. Invasive species can also introduce diseases to plants and may be harmful to livestock.

If Missouri residents have received unsolicited seeds, the following guidance applies:

  1. Do not open the seed package.
  2. Do not plant the seeds if you have opened the package.
  3. Submit an online report to USDA verifying you have received unsolicited seeds.
  4. Do not dispose of the seeds, packages or envelopes until USDA provides further guidance.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is playing a cooperative role in USDA’s investigation; however, USDA is leading the effort from the federal level. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is also working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds.

If opened, place seeds in a sealed bag and contact the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industries Division by phone at (573) 751-2462 or by email at [email protected].

To learn more about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit Agriculture.Mo.Gov.

Invasive Landscaping Plants Now Illegal to Sell in Indiana

by Tina Casagrand

Among the big headlines this month was this big piece of invasive plant news from the Indianapolis Star: “Landscaping Plants Now Illegal to Sell in Indiana.”

“Under the Terrestrial Plant Rule, these plants are prohibited from being sold, gifted, exchanged or even transported within the state.”

The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force has a vision and a strategy for how to achieve a similar result in Missouri. However, it takes time.

We welcome support for the effort as MoIP continues to pursue this goal. Please send us a message at info [at] moinvasives.org to see how your organization can be involved.

2020 Award Nominations

by Tina Casagrand

MPF President David Young presenting the 2019 MPF Dick Dawson Prairie Pioneer Award to Jon Wingo. Past awardees are listed at the MPF and Grow Native! links above.

MPF, its Grow Native! program, and the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP), which MPF administers, is now accepting nominations for its  MPF awards  (prairie pioneer, prairie professional, prairie communicator, prairie volunteer, and prairie landowner);  Grow Native! awards , and the MoIP Invasive Plant Action Award .

One need not be a member of MPF to be nominated for an award. Current MPF board members are not eligible to receive an award. If you nominated someone in the past who was not selected for an award, we encourage you to renominate that individual. Nominations for the  MPF awards  and  Grow Native! awards  must be received by June 15, 2020.
Nominations for the  MoIP award  must be received by August 1, 2020.
Depending on the current public health situation, the MPF and Grow Native! Native Plant Pioneer Awards will be announced and presented at MPF’s Annual Dinner in Jefferson City, MO on August 8, 2020. We plan to present the Grow Native! Ambassador Award at the Grow Native! Professional Member Conference in November 2020. The MoIP Award will be presented at a venue of the awardee’s choice.
We appreciate and value your interest in and support of MPF, our Grow Native! program, and the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force.

What to Do with Your Callery Pears During Quarantine

by Tina Casagrand
What to Do with Your Callery Pears During Quarantine
Use flagging tape to mark your Callery pear trees while in bloom when they are easiest to identify. You can return to the tree and treat it when you are ready. Photo by Felicia Amman.

Our Callery Pear Buy-back events, both scheduled for April in St. Louis and Columbia, have been postponed indefinitely. However, we still encourage property owners to cut the trees during spring (when they are easy to identify) as a means to reducing populations from spreading.

Thank you for doing your part to help slow the spread of this invasive species!

As you remove Callery pear and other invasive plants, please send us a photo to [email protected] or mention us on Twitter and Facebook @moinvasives.

Here’s a quick overview on:

  • how to control Callery pears on your property
  • what to do if you currently don’t have the means to remove these invasive trees, and
  • how to spread awareness about invasive plants beyond your backyard.

Callery Pear invading roadside near Highway 50. Photo by Bill Ruppert.

What’s the problem with Callery pears?

Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a popular ornamental tree native to China. Several cultivars of the tree are offered commercially, including ‘Aristocrat’, ‘Autumn Blaze’, ‘Bradford’ (which is the commonly planted “Bradford pear”), ‘Capital’, ‘Cleveland,’ ‘Chanticleer’, ‘Redspire’, and ‘Whitehouse’.

When cultivars in the “Callery pear” family cross-pollinate, their fertile seeds sprout up and aggressively take over areas where they aren’t wanted. Escaped Callery pear can grow densely along roadsides, unmowed fields/meadows, open woods, or any other open areas. Emerging seedlings will require up to 3 years to be noticeable from a distance, and up to 5 years before trees begin to flower. 

We define an invasive plant species as “an aggressive, non-native species whose presence causes or is likely to cause economic harm, environmental harm, or harm to human health.” These species grow and reproduce rapidly. 

MoIP is most concerned with invasive species because of their direct negative impacts. Callery pear, for instance, is costly to remove and devastating to the habitats where they crowd out native vegetation that is nutritious for local wildlife.

We are encouraging property owners to identify the trees during spring (when they are easy to identify) and remove them from your property as a means to prevent populations from spreading.

OK, I see I can help by removing Callery pears from my own property. What’s the best way to do that?

Use flagging tape to mark your Callery pear trees while in bloom when they are easiest to identify. You can return to the tree and treat it when you are ready. Photo by Felicia Amman.

The following advice comes from Dr. Reid Smeda, University of Missouri Extension, for the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force:

Control of trees is easier when they are small.

Do not mow seedlings or small trees, as single stem trees will re-emerge as multiple stem trees.

To control trees from seedlings to about 6 feet tall, leaves can be treated with some formulation of glyphosate. An effective rate is 2-4 quarts per acre of a concentrated form (not the Ready-To-Use formulation) of glyphosate. If you want to mix only one total gallon of spray solution, add 4-8 ounces of concentrated glyphosate to 1 gallon of water. Mix the herbicide in water and add a small amount of surfactant (0.5% of final volume). Spray the solution on pear leaves and be sure to cover the entire tree. Be careful to avoid spraying adjacent desirable vegetation, because glyphosate can damage that also. Trees can be treated once leaves come out in the spring until leaves turn color in the fall. Damage symptoms are slow to develop (30 days) and complete control of treated plants can take up to 7 months.

An alternative to treating Callery pear leaves is to treat the base of the tree. Optimum timing for this technique is fall through early winter. Pour a small amount of a concentrated form of glyphosate into a small open-mouth jar. Identify a small, 1 inch diameter, disposable paint brush. Add a small amount of food coloring to the jar and stir to dissolve the food coloring (I like red or blue). No surfactant is needed. Using a chain saw or other saw, cut the Callery pear tree down and make the final cut across the base of the trunk until only a short (about 1 inch) stump is visible. Within 20 minutes of the final cut, paint the top of the stump with a thick coating of the red-colored glyphosate. If control is effective, you will not see any shoots come from the base of the stump.

Be sure to wear gloves and all proper protective equipment as described on the glyphosate label.

Let’s help our native trees and get rid of Callery pear!

I don’t have a chainsaw or other control methods available right now. Is there anything I can do now to stop the invasion of Callery pear trees?

Yes! We encourage you to identify the trees in April while they are flowering and mark the tree with flagging tape or another secure, visible marker. You can go back and control the tree whenever you are ready.

Use flagging tape to mark your Callery pear trees while in bloom when they are easiest to identify. You can return to the tree and treat it when you are ready. Photo by Felicia Amman.

Please make sure you are identifying Callery pear properly. Callery pear limbs generally grow vertically, forming a pyramid or egg shape. In early April, very dense clusters of white flowers cover the tree before leaves form. In maturity, they reach heights of 30 to 40 feet.

See below for more information on proper identification:

Where can I get help having my Callery pear professionally removed?

Please refer to the Grow Native! Resource Guide listings for Arborists and Land Care & Landscape Services to find professionals in your area who can assist with tree removal. These companies are on board with the Grow Native! mission to protect and restore biodiversity.

The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force is housed under the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program.

How can I spread more awareness about Callery pear?

We all have a role to play in educating the public about invasive species and their impact on the economy and environment in Missouri and other places we love.

  • Plant native Missouri plants on your property. Learn more at GrowNative.org
  • On social media, share your photos of cutting down your own Callery pear with the facts provided above. Please tag us @moinvasives on Twitter and Facebook, and use the hashtag #InvasivePlant so we can share in your successes!
  • Engage your neighbors, local business owners, and other connections in conversation about invasive plants.
  • Ask your political representatives at the state, local and national level to support invasive species control efforts.

Remember, email us at [email protected] with a photo of your Callery pear removal. We will stay in touch with information about future Buy-backs.

Thank you again for doing your part.