Monocacy Hill Conservation Association

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Invasives 101

The Threat of Non Native, Invasive Plants

Invasives education is part of our new initiative to combat the growing problem of non native plants in our natural areas. We hope to inform the public about the impact of these plants and to encourage volunteers to join us in our efforts to control them. The management of these invasive plants is a key component of the Forest Stewardship Plan.
BASICS:    Plants, insects, animals taken out of their natural habitat may not have the natural predators and diseases that previously kept their population under control.   So they are able to agressively compete with native species for space , light, water and nutrients and spread through the forest displacing our native species.  In our area for example deer will browse on native plants and rarely eat non native food sources.

Norway Maple -  Acer platanoides   First brought to the US in 1762, reportedly in the Philadelphia area, this tree is one of the top priority species listed for treatment and removal at Monocacy Hill.  This tree produces many seeds and can spread quickly displacing native trees and hindering understory growth.  It is very similar to the sugar maple, but has a shiny underleaf and milky sap.  Tagging, removal and treatment are planned to control the further spread of of Norway Maples.


For the past two years we have been involved in a project with the Pa Dept of Agriculture to eradicate Ailanthus trees in the park.  This tree is the main food source for the spotted lanternfly,  Ailanthus is also a non native invasive tree.

Ailanthus altissima

Whenever we remove non native trees,  we replant that area with native tree seedlings. 


Japanese Honeysuckle (Vine) - Lonicera japonica


MHCA * P.O. Box 3 * Douglassville * PA * 19518