Invasive Plant Fact Sheets
What are Invasive plants?
Plants that are not native to our area that were introduced either intentionally or unintentionally, and whose introduction has caused ecological or economic harm, or harm to human health.
Why are Invasive Plants Harmful?
Ecological Harm: Invasive plants quickly establish self-sustaining populations and compete with native species for moisture, sunlight, nutrients and space. Because invasive plants did not evolve here, many have no natural predators to help keep populations in check.
Economic Harm: A Cornell University study revealed invasive species cause $127 billion annually to the American Economy. They affect agricultural crops livestock, and forests.
Invasive Plants in Pepperell
There are 69 plant species found in Massachusetts that are categorized as "Invasive," "Likely Invasive," or "Potentially Invasive." Mass Invasive Plant List.
The Pepperell Invasive Plant Advisory Committee has narrowed down that list to those most-frequently seen and of greatest concern in town.
- Acer platanoides, Norway maple
- Ailanthus altissima, tree of heaven
- Berberis thunbergii, Japanese barberry
- Elaeagnus umbellata, autumn olive
- Euonymus alatus, burning bush
- Lonicera spp., bush honeysuckles (individually listed, L. morrowii, L. tatarica, L.x bella)
- Rhamnus cathartica, common buckthorn
- Rhamnus frangula / Frangula alnus, glossy buckthorn
- Rosa multiflora, multiflora rose
- Celastrus orbiculatus, Oriental bittersweet
- Alliaria petiolate, garlic mustard
- Cynanchum spp., swallow-wort (individually listed, C. louiseae, C. rossicum)
- Polygonum cuspidatum, Japanese knotweed (including its several scientific names, Fallopia japonica; Polygonum cuspidatum; Reynoutria japonica)
Treatment and Disposal of Invasive Plants
Recommended Removal and Disposal; either one of these would be good to just link to - Proper Disposal Brochure-courtesy of Groton Invasive Species Committee
Chemical Treatments. In Massachusetts, chemical control (herbicide) options are regulated by the Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Pesticide Program, and details can be found at Massachusetts Pesticide Program. The Town of Pepperell does not have a licensed herbicide applicator. Before any use on their own land, citizens should educate themselves on safety and the hazards associated with use of herbicides before use.
Free Equipment Loan - The town has two weed wrenches available for short-term loans to groups and residents. Weed wrenches are manually-operated tools designed to pull up woody plants, such as buckthorn, by uprooting. To arrange for a loan, contact: invcomm@town.Pepperell.ma.us
What Can You Do?
- Volunteer for Local Events
- Monitor and maintain invasive plants on your own property or neighborhood
Want to Know More?