• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

The line between invasive and nonnative

 
Posts: 16
Location: Pennswoods
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So we are getting ready to move onto our land in Pennsylvania and I’ve been thinking about how we want to set up our gardens. The land is on moderate slope for the most part so I’ve been planning on making hugel swales to catch water and decrease the relative slope. Then I’ve been thinking of what to plant, and thought autumn olive, mimosa, and lemon balm among other things would be good to have. But these are all varying degrees of “invasive” plants, my way of thinking is that if something is here and nonnative but not terribly invasive to make use of it. Our property is almost completely free of nonnatives, and my fear is to introduce something that will negatively impact the environment of our property, any thoughts on judging what is and isn’t invasive or control measures to keep them in check?
 
pollinator
Posts: 11802
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1051
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think it's helpful to look at lists of what is considered invasive in your area.  Some things that are invasive in another region might not be a problem in your area, and vice versa.  https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/Conservation/WildPlants/InvasivePlants/Pages/default.aspx
 
Ivanson Lance
Posts: 16
Location: Pennswoods
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tyler Ludens wrote:I think it's helpful to look at lists of what is considered invasive in your area.  Some things that are invasive in another region might not be a problem in your area, and vice versa.  https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/Conservation/WildPlants/InvasivePlants/Pages/default.aspx



I think the issue is that both of these trees are technically considered invasive weeds, conservation efforts include spraying with round up. But in my experience I’ve never seen any of these grow in an invasive manner in Pennsylvania, neither tolerate competition for sun light and so they are easily consumed by the woods in the absence of human intervention. They do not form dense thickets like some other plants do.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11802
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1051
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I see the lists as a jumping off point.  For instance, I allow non-native Thistle to grow because the pollinators like it and it isn't harming native plants or anything.
 
pollinator
Posts: 348
Location: East tn
86
hugelkultur foraging homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Non native is actually a relative term whose context is time. Many plants we now consider natural to an are were introduced from other places.

If you are stewarding land and have weighed the risk/reward and feel its a good move...i say go for it.

Manage the land you have control of at this time in the best way you see fit.

What more could anyone ask?

I am in tn and have mimosa and autumn olive. Useful plants to man, soil, and beast.
 
gardener
Posts: 985
Location: Western Washington
255
duck forest garden personal care rabbit bee homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's a good question.  If it's not listed as invasive I usually go for it. With climate change it is challenging to get anything to survive sometimes, so I welcome almost anything that is adaptive and thrives.


Where I live the land is often covered with invasive grass, blackberries, and scotch broom. I know a pollinator group that goes to extreme measures to control these, that are expensive and unsustainable.  And people are often nervous about mint and lemon balm escaping here, when the summers are too hot and the grass too aggressive for them to get too far.  Both are medicinal and good for bees. I sometimes wish they'd outcompete my grass.  
 
steward
Posts: 5376
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
2020
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

All plants are welcome on my farm, regardless of what time/space they might have lived in previously. 15,000 years ago, my farm was at the bottom of a 20,000 square mile lake. There are no native land-plants on my farm.

My definition of "native plant" is anything that is currently growing in the nearby wildlands, and anything I might plant there in the future.



 
Posts: 44
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ivanson Lance wrote: I’ve been planning on making hugel swales



The term "hugel swale" is not well defined, as it can be a harmless ditch or a potential disaster.

Please read this article and watch the video at the bottom of it:
https://www.permaculturenews.org/2015/11/06/dont-try-building-hugel-swales-this-is-a-very-and-i-mean-very-bad-idea/

You can make normal swales and orthogonally add hugles downslope.
 
R. Han
Posts: 44
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What is a small log to you?
It depends on various factors.
If you want to plant trees on the swale, which people usually do,
it does not make any sense to put a log in the swale, as it will collapse over time.
This has also been mentioned in the article/video.
 
gardener
Posts: 569
Location: Central Texas
210
hugelkultur forest garden trees rabbit greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My philosophy is similar to that of Mr. Lofthouse. I feel, as long as it's not from outer space, I don't really care what part of the world it came from. If it can grow & thrive in my environment, then I let it do so (at least until I want to have something else in that spot). Since I consider myself the steward of the land, I will take responsibility for restoring the balance if something gets too far out of hand.

Regarding mimosa- I would not worry too much about it taking over. While it does put out a million seeds, less than half probably germinate; and of those that do sprout, maybe 5% survive the first 2 years without help from a human. The pasture next to me started out with one or two trees about 10-15 years ago. Now, I think there's about 5 trees out of all those years of seeds. Additionally, they're pioneer/nurse trees for things like oak & pecan, and die quickly once the other trees reach the same height & start blocking the light.
The thing that makes them "weedy" is they're  hard to kill when they are in the right environment after they're 4-5 years old. Since they readily produce suckers when chopped (great for permaculture), they either have to have a yucky chemical poison applied, or have to be pulled out by the roots to kill them.
But, no, I've never seen them totally dominate an area when left unchecked. Heck, I can't even get them to create a grove by helping protect them.
 
gardener
Posts: 3070
Location: Southern Illinois
567
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ivanson,

I will give you my $0.02 about autumn/Russian olive.  Around me, (Southern Illinois), it is considered an invasive and if not checked, will take over hill and dale.

BUT, I have it on my land near fence lines and I have come to appreciate it.  Mine contributed significantly to my living fence (about 800’).  I occasionally trim back and keep the cut limbs & branches for chipping into mulch which I use to grow mushrooms for an excellent wine cap mushroom compost garden bedding.

Some plants are invasive like Japanese Honeysuckle or kudzu which is fast and furious.  Autumn Olive is more slow but relentless which I find quite useful.  My Autumn Olive is a highly productive resource and not an invasive weed, but that is due to my usage.  Autumn Olive grows quickly but does not spread out of control unlike invasive vines.

So long as you can do some basic maintenance, Autumn Olive can be a very useful plant.

Eric
 
Ivanson Lance
Posts: 16
Location: Pennswoods
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In the article it says it’s safe to use 1-2 logs as log as you have a much higher ratio of soil
 
That feels good. Thanks. Here's a tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Manual - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/8/rmhman
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic