When spring arrives people in New Hampshire like to take time to beautify and improve their outdoor space. Through the introduction of new plants, shrubs, and trees, one can make their outdoor space healthier and more enjoyable. We at Belknap Landscape spend much of the spring helping clients choose, place, and install a wide variety of plant life, and we know this process can be as complicated as it can be fun.
When choosing plants, a homeowner or landscape professional may consider aesthetic, viability, or practical variables. It is also essential to be mindful of the plant species itself. Simply put, some plants, when introduced to your property, can be harmful or even illegal. Mindful selection of plant choice helps us to be good neighbors and stewards of the land, and contributors to the long-term health and beauty of the landscape. One reoccurring challenge is invasive plant species.
Avoiding invasive species
Invasive plant species, in particular, are problematic for both the property owner and the greater natural environment. When introduced, these plant species often out-compete and asa result overgrow native species. This has a detrimental effect on the ecosystem, which, in many cases, cannot be easily overcome. Responsible property owners and landscape professionals have a moral and legal obligation to be mindful of and not to introduce invasive plant species.
Spotting an invasive species isn’t easy. The sale of invasive species is illegal in New Hampshire, and local nurseries will not carry them. So how do they get in our state? Some potential sources include online purchases of plants, using inexperienced or out-of-state contractors, or transferring plants from out of state to properties in New Hampshire. Homeowners can arm themselves by becoming more informed and asking questions with their vendor or contractors.
Thankfully the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension has resources readily available to help understand, identify, and report invasive species. You can visit this article for more information on this vital subject.
Utilize this resource as a guide for plant selection, or to identify if you have an invasive species on your property. You’ll also see ways to help mitigate this problem and get involved in protecting our native plant species, and still enjoy a beautiful well planted outdoor space.
Photos provided courtesy of the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food