Invasive Plants & Treatment
There is a great deal of information available for the identification and treatment of invasive plant species. Below, we’ve provided identification and treatment information for the most common invasive plant species found around Muskegon Lake. Before deciding to treat a plant, make sure you can properly identify it, identify the surrounding plants, and choose the appropriate technique. It’s also important to get the permission of landowners or neighbors as needed, and to obtain any necessary permits for the treatments.
Always work within your skill set, and never, ever remove or treat a plant if you don’t know what it is.
The Midwest Invasive Species Information Network is an amazing resource for the identification and recommended treatments of invasive species.
Tree of Heaven – Ailanthus altissima
Overview: Tree-of-Heaven is a fast growing, robust, smooth-barked deciduous tree that is native to China. With an average height of 40-65 feet and 2-40 inch diameter, this allelopathic invasive plant is found in fields, meadows, shores, and riverbanks, and can also be found in yards, on roadsides, and beside walls and buildings.
Recommended Management: For mature trees, use cut-stump treatments and apply a 75-100% glyphosate-based herbicide to the open wound any time between May and March (not spring sap flow). For smaller species, a 3-5% solution of a glyphosate or triclopyr-based herbicide may be applied after full leaf-out.
Garlic mustard – Alliaria petiolata
Overview: Garlic mustard is a ground dominant plant found in the understory of forests and is a native of Europe and Asia. This weedy invasive biennial can grow up to 3 feet tall and can be found in upland and floodplain forested areas as well as along trails, roadsides and disturbed areas. It smells like garlic when crushed and has numerous small, white colored flowers that bloom in late April through June.
Recommended Management: Garlic mustard can be hand-pulled in April and May, prior to flowering. The plants can also be treated with a foliar application of a 2% glyphosate or triclopyr-based herbicide solution in April or May, prior to flowering.