Symposium on Managing Invasive Plants

Attention homeowners, landscape pros, gardeners, and anyone else interested in managing invasive plant species in Connecticut. Note the date listed below – October 14, 2010 – when the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group presents an all day symposium on managing invasive plants.

Japanese barberry 4-29-10 Connecticut is blessed with beautiful woodlands and open spaces that are rapidly being overrun by invasive plants. It’s important to understand how to manage invasives,  such as Japanese barberry (left) which is easy to identify as one of the first shrubs to leaf out in the spring. Japanese barberry has thorny stems and sports red, oblong shaped berries in late summer and fall.

Bittersweet is another common invasive plant that vines up anything – trees, shrubs, building walls, stone walls. It twists around stems, trunks, fence posts, or anything that allows vertical growth. Mature vines produce gold berries in the fall that open to a round orange-red center. Many like to use the berries in fall decorations but don’t realize any dropped berries can sprout into fast growing bully-vines.  Those feeling shaky in identifying bittersweet should watch for the berries this fall – they will be common along roadsides – and take note of the vines from whence they grow. Then next spring and early summer it will be easier to ID new bittersweet sprouts and pull them before they become a problem. We make a spring ritual of pulling small Japanese barberry and bittersweet, with its telltale orange roots, from the woods surrounding our home.

Both Japanese barberry and bittersweet are rapidly overtaking CT land, but there are many other invasives vying for space – Autumn Olive, Winged Euonymus (aka Burning Bush), Mile-a-minute vine, Norway MapleMultiflora rose, and garlic mustard to name a few – that need proper, effective management. Don’t think that cutting them off at soil level will prevent re-growth or spread … take the time to learn how to properly manage each invasive.  If unable to attend the symposium – see complete info below – then visit the website of the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group for identification facts and photos, and proper eradication hints.

Register for the symposium by September 18 to save $15.



UConn Symposium to Discuss Invasive Species in Connecticut

For more information:
Donna Ellis, (860) 486-6448,

#10061 August 19, 2010
STORRS, Conn – The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group will present «Challenges and Successes: Working Cooperatively to Manage Invasive Plants», a one-day symposium at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, on Thursday, October 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The symposium will address the importance of native habitats, how invasive species harm these habitats, and why cooperative efforts are vital to understanding and managing our natural landscapes.
All who are interested in invasive plant issues are invited to attend. This symposium seeks to draw together municipal staff (parks and recreation, public works, inland wetlands/conservation commissions), nursery, tree and landscape professionals, educators, students, landscape architects, gardening enthusiasts, state and federal employees, members of conservation organizations and the public into a discussion of the challenges presented by invasive plants and how we can promote native plants by managing invasives.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Bernd Blossey of Cornell University. Dr. Blossey’s presentation is titled «The Power of Choice: New Frontiers in Invasive Plant Management and Conservation.» Concurrent afternoon sessions will include the industry perspective – what’s working, early detection & rapid response; invasives management research; invaded forests; Cooperative Weed Management Areas and local success stories. Research posters and other educational exhibits will be featured throughout the day.
Pesticide recertification credits and a variety of other continuing education credits will be offered.
Early registration (postmarked by Sept. 18) is $40. The fee is $55 if postmarked after September 18 or for walk-in registrations. Student fee, with ID, is $25. Walk-in registrations only if space is available. The symposium program, registration form, and other information are available on the CIPWG website:
Please send registration and checks (payable to The University of Connecticut) to: Donna Ellis, University of Connecticut, Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, 1390 Storrs Road, Unit 4163, Storrs, CT 06269-4163. Included in the cost of admission are an information packet, parking, lunch, snacks and beverages.
For more information, contact Donna Ellis at (860) 486-6448; email

3 comments for “Symposium on Managing Invasive Plants

  1. August 21, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    My daily companions in the garden and wild meadow: barberry, bittersweet, multiflora rose and autumn olive. Some days all I do is tend to them, pulling little ones from my new beds and hacking the bigger ones out of the woods and meadow. Then I start all over the next day and do the same. And on and on (oh, and poison ivy too). Thanks for the heads up on this symposium.

  2. August 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I should love to attend. I too have such spring rituals but have been told the best time in full season… that will weaken the plants… still spring is when I have the energy… and the plants do come up easy then. But to persevere is key to being rid of them. What a bumper crop of sumac we have this year after cutting them back in spring! ;>(( It is great that you are posting about the symposium.

  3. joenesgarden
    August 22, 2010 at 10:31 am

    It’s very important to continuously monitor for invasives, as you do, Laurrie, and as you point out, Carol. I too check and re-check for invasives throughout the growing season. I find many young bittersweet shoots from spring to fall and often identify previously missed Japanese barberry and multiflora rose during my rechecks. Perseverance is indeed very important.

    Should either or both of you attend the symposium, I hope you share what you learn. I will not be able to attend.

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