Alabama landowners face some unwelcome intruders that can harm timber and wildlife habitat.
This afternoon as my daughter and I were riding around our family land, I noticed there are three invasive species all growing in one spot. I only had my phone, so I apologize for how fuzzy this picture is. If you can enlarge this photo, you will see that there is kudzu, privet, and a mimosa tree growing together. This is the unholy trinity of invasive floral species in Alabama.
In late-winter and early spring many Alabama landowners and forest managers are performing controlled burns on their timberlands. Forest owners understand how important it is to manage these invasive species, which if left untreated, will often out-compete native species and do immense harm to timber production and displace desirable wildlife forage.
Alabama landowners have many resources available to them to help in the treatment and eradication of these pesky plants. Below is a list of sources for information and help for landowners as you do battle with invasive plant species.
Alabama Cooperative Extension System– ACES is one of the best resources for any Alabama landowner in regard to invasive species. Your local extension agent is an invaluable resource for this and a host of other agricultural and silvicultural issues.
Alabama Forestry Commission– Alabama's Forestry Commission has some helpful resources and pictures about many types of invasive plants, insects, and diseases that effect trees.
Invasive.org– The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health has some tremendous resources available to educate and arm landowners against invasive species. One of the most helpful is a comprehensive document titled: Invasive Plant Responses to Siivicultural Practices in the South.
Alabama Natural Resources Conservation Service– Alabama's NRCS offers the EQIP programto help landowners battle invasive species. Each Alabama County has an NRCS office, and this program can offer some cost-share assistance in treating qualifying species.
Alabama Invasive Plant Council– AIPC maintains a list of invasive speices and also ones that are on a "watch list" that could potentially become a threat in the future. The Council even ranks the threat the various species pose to natural forests, urban areas, and croplands.
There are many other resources available to landowners in their fight against invasive species. The key is educating yourself to the harm these plants pose to your forests and wildlife. Learning to identify these species in the wild is helpful for determining the extent to which your land is being threatened. Contact your local extension agent, forestry service office, or an Alabama Consulting Forester for help combating and eradicating invasive species from your Alabama land.