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Range of Invasion. Natural ecosystem disrupted by exotic invasive species Open rangeland Forested ecosystems Swamps, wetlands Aquatic situations (lakes/ponds, rivers, irrigation canals). Why an Issue?. Exotic species are highly adapted to diverse ecological areas

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Range of invasion
Range of Invasion

  • Natural ecosystem disrupted by exotic invasive species

    • Open rangeland

    • Forested ecosystems

    • Swamps, wetlands

    • Aquatic situations (lakes/ponds, rivers, irrigation canals)

Why an issue
Why an Issue?

  • Exotic species are highly adapted to diverse ecological areas

    • High reproductive capacity

    • No natural enemies (disease, insects, etc.)

    • Biological desert


  • Primary method is PREVENTION!!

    • Invasive assessment, prediction models

  • Mechanical

    • Effective but not practical on large areas

    • Generally does not eradicate

    • Also includes burn, flood, mowing, etc.

  • Biological control is IDEAL, but………….

  • Chemical – the big issue is………..?


  • In crops you are trying to control all species except the crop

  • In invasive plant control you are trying to control one species and not harm everything else

  • Integrated approach is the key, but a major decision has to be made first

To eradicate or not to eradicate
To Eradicate or not to Eradicate

  • Eradication

    • high degree of coordination & monitoring

    • high $$, quarantines

    • eliminate all individuals, propagules, etc. that could regenerate a population

    • continually monitor to ensure eradication

  • Maintenance control is that situation where you constantlymonitor the populations and control when levels reach a certain threshold, which is generally very low


  • $ 4 million

  • 5 years

Nascent foci approach
Nascent Foci Approach

  • Start on the outlying populations first and work into the center

  • Accurate survey of infestation and data on the range of spread (mechanism of dispersal)

  • Continually monitor over the area already covered


  • Planting back a desirable species that will provide ecological stability and possibly hinder/block reinfestation of invasive species

  • When and how much invasive control do you need?

  • Possibility of selective control?


  • Category 1 invasive species (FLEPPC)

    • Ability to spread into undisturbed sites

  • Extremely fast growth > 8 inches/day

  • Smothers trees and native understory species

  • Spreads rapidly through massive production of bulbils

Mature plant
Mature Plant

  • Rapidly climbing, twining herbaceous vine

  • Vines killed by frost

  • Regrowth from underground tubers

Leaves and flowers
Leaves and Flowers

  • Leaves cordate

  • All leaf veins arise from leaf base

  • Flowers are inconspicuous, arise from panicles from leaf axils


  • Aerial tubers, borne in leaf axils

  • Generally roundish, smooth and gray to brown in color

  • Primary means of spread


  • Limit planting as an ornamental

  • Remove existing plants, including resprouts and before bulbils are produced

  • Avoid spread through contaminated debris, brush or soil

  • Clean mowers and other brush-cutting equipment


  • Programs to educate homeowners about the problems associated with air potato and proper identification

  • Remove populations along waterways

    • Bulbils will float to new areas

  • Gather bulbils in fall after frost (Gainesville Air Potato Roundup)


  • There are no known biological control agents available for air potato management in Florida or the southeastern U.S.


  • Hand pull young seedlings, including all roots, dig up tubers

  • Mowing is effective, but must be repeated and may spread bulbils

  • Burning is not a viable option – fire ladders into canopy of trees


  • Over-the-top applications before bulbil formation, during spring and summer

  • Thoroughly wet leaves with herbicide

    • Triclopyr – 2% solution

    • Glyphosate – 2 to 3% solution

    • Use surfactant at 0.25%

  • Retreatment necessary to kill tuber and resprouting bulbils


  • Also known as silk tree

  • Medium-sized tree, 20 - 40 feet tall

  • Legume plant - capable of fixing nitrogen

  • Introduced from China to the U.S. in the mid 1700’s

Mature plant1
Mature Plant

  • Small tree – 20 to 40 feet in height

  • Highly branched, rambling habit

  • Leaves and flowers in clusters at the end of branches


  • Hand pull young seedlings, including all roots, repeated pulling for resprouts

  • Cut tree down at ground level

  • Girdling is effective for large trees

    • Cut through bark approximately 6 inches above the ground, encircling tree base

  • Mowing is effective on small saplings and resprouts, but must be repeated

Chemical foliar
Chemical - Foliar

  • Over-the-top applications for seedlings, resprouts and small trees

  • Thoroughly wet leaves with herbicide

    • Triclopyr – 2% solution

    • Glyphosate – 2% solution

    • Clopyralid - 0.2 to 0.4% solution

    • Use surfactant at 0.25%

  • Best results applied July to October

Chemical basal
Chemical - Basal

  • Individual trees, near desirable species

  • Use 25% triclopyr solution with basal oil

  • Apply 12 to 15 inches above ground on tree trunk

  • Wet thoroughly for good control, spray until run-off is noticeable at ground line

Chemical cut stump
Chemical – Cut Stump

  • Individual trees, near desirable species

  • Cut trunks/stems horizonally at or near ground level

  • Apply 25% solution of glyphosate or triclopyr

  • Cover the outer 20% of the stump

  • Marker (blue) dye is helpful

Putting it all together
Putting It All Together

  • Control strategies often not known or available

  • A rule of thumb - glyphosate for most species, triclopyr for broadleaf species and vines

  • Treat ‘pockets’ of invasive species – isolated; but be sure not to spread the species in the process

  • Target areas along streams and riverbeds, as those areas provide greater capacity for spread


  • Focus first on annual species

  • Controlled effectively as seedling plants

  • Retreatment may be necessary in the summer

  • Final check in the late summer/early fall to kill remaining plants that may set seed

  • Follow-up the next year or two

  • The key with annual species is prevention of seed set.

Late summer fall
Late Summer/Fall

  • Perennial species with vegetatively persistent structures, fall treatments are generally most effective

  • Herbicides translocated to the vegetative propagules and provide longer, more consistent control

  • If species flower in the fall, be sure to treat prior to seed set


  • Target trees during the winter months, especially basal bark treatments

  • Allows ample time to check later in the summer/early fall for regrowth

  • Cut stump treatments can be performed anytime, so use the time during the cooler winter months for this activity

Bringing it together
Bringing It Together

  • Set up a grid with various treatment zones, citing problem species in each zone

  • GPS referencing is particularly helpful

  • Follow-up will be critical, but you should eventually get to a point where routine maintenance will be all that is necessary.


  • Category I invasive species (FLEPPC)

    • Disrupts natural plant communities

  • Shade out desirable species, especially native seedlings and understory plants

  • Resprouts readily after fire or mechanical removal

  • Heavy fruit set after 2 years of establishment

Mature plant2
Mature Plant

  • Small upright shrub, up to 6 feet tall

  • Often grows in large colonies

  • Shade tolerant, understory species


  • Seedlings often found encircling a mature plant

  • Plants will remain in juvenile stage until mature specimen is removed


  • Alternate arrangement, but tight to the main stem

  • Scalloped margins

  • Dark, thick, glossy green

Flowers and fruit
Flowers and Fruit

  • Flowering occurs in spring – small white/pink clusters

  • Fruit are bright red and hang from the plant

  • Persist on the plants for several months

Fruit and seed
Fruit and Seed

  • Fruit readily consumed by wildlife - birds

  • Seed viability is very high and germinate in a wide range of soil conditions


  • Hand pull young seedlings, including all roots, repeated pulling for resprouts

  • Mowing or clipping/chopping is effective, but must be repeated due to resprouting from rootstocks. However, mowing may not be practical in many areas.

Chemical foliar1
Chemical - Foliar

  • Over-the-top applications for seedlings and large plants

  • Thoroughly wet leaves with herbicide

    • Glyphosate – 2-3% solution plus surfactant at 0.25% to increase herbicide penetration of the waxy leaves

    • 2,4-D – 2-3% solution is also effective, but only on seedlings or resprouts

Chemical foliar2
Chemical - Foliar

  • Over-the-top applications for seedlings and large plants

  • Use 18% triclopyr solution with basal oil or 10% diesel fuel


  • Category II invasive species (FLEPPC)

    • Limited spread into undisturbed sites

  • Strong competitor

    • Readily establishes, high quantity of seed or resprouting

    • Fixes nitrogen

    • Competes effectively for sunlight and nutrients

Stems and bark
Stems and Bark

  • Younger stems lime green, covered with lenticels (small pits in bark)

  • On older stems becomes light brown to grayish

  • Smooth bark


  • Alternately arranged

  • Bipinnate compound

    • 6 to 20 inches long

    • 20 to 60 leaflets per branch

  • Leaf arrangement gives mimosa fern-like or feathery appearance


  • Flowering occurs from May to July

  • Borne in terminal clusters at base of the current year’s twigs

  • Fragrant, pink in color, frizzy

Fruit and seed1
Fruit and Seed

  • Flat seed pods, straw-colored, 6 inches long

  • Pod contains 5 to 10 seeds, light brown oval-shaped

  • Seed pods persist on the tree throughout winter


  • Scarification required for germination

  • Seed dormancy for many years

  • Dispersal occurs through water and may occur through wildlife ingestion and excretion