Invasive Species

Is That Plant a Friend or Foe? 

Invasive species are non-native plants, insects or animals that cause environmental or economic harm to native habitats. 

 You may have heard of the emerald ash-borer, but can you identify phragmites or tree of heaven?

The Friends of the Shiawasee River have been involved in establishing native vegetation along the Shiawassee River since 1997. Native vegetation tends to reduce erosion along stream banks because native plants tend to have deeper roots, which hold the soil together better. It also provides optimal habitat for native species of wildlife. In addition to native plantings, the Friends also work toward the removal and suppression of invasive trees in those areas, such as Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven). We extend our special gratitude to Jerry and Connie Voight of Owosso, whose generosity has helped us obtain the resources to fight this unwanted invader. We also thank the members of the Baker College of Owosso Summer Work Crew, whose hard work has benefitted our entire community! 


Invasive Species

Identification Resources

FOSR Photo Library of Invasive Species

Michigan Invasive Plant Species Listing from Michigan State University Extension

Midwest Invasive Species Information Network

Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative




 Invasive Species Removal Opportunities

Garlic Mustard Pulls

The Friends of the Shiawassee River and our partners at DeVries Nature Conservancy have worked collaboratively to remove garlic mustard from the woodlots at DeVries and in other areas near the Shiawassee River. Volunteer removal occurs every Saturday in April by pulling individual plants from the soil surface. Garlic mustard is easily identified and its removal creates better habitat for native wildflowers and vegetation, such as trillium and bloodroot. Students and others who need volunteer hours are encouraged to participate in this peaceful activity that takes place in the spring. Harvested garlic mustard is used for the Garlic Mustard Pestival event.



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