News to Use Archive: Invasives

Becky Daugherty

Delaware County SWCD

Indiana Terrestrial Plant Rule

The Terrestrial Plant Rule (312 IAC 18-3-25) designates 44 species of plants as invasive pests. This rule makes it illegal to sell, gift, barter, exchange, distribute, transport, or introduce these plants in the State of Indiana.

This rule goes into effect in two stages. As of April 18, 2019 it is illegal to introduce plant species on the list not already found in Indiana. Plant species already in trade will be prohibited from sale one year later, April 18, 2020.

The list of plant species affected by this rule can be found at

To report an invasive plant pest: call 866-NO-EXOTIC (866-663-9684) or your local Nursery Inspector.

You can also report by using the website:, or by email to:

We are forming a CISMA. Want to join us?

Ok, so your first question is, What is a CISMA? CISMAs are locally formed partnerships to pool resources and knowledge to address mutual, local invasive species problems. Partners may include county, state, and federal governmental agencies, nonprofits, citizen groups and others. CISMA stands for "Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area". CISMAs heighten awareness, increase knowledge, promotes early detection, maps invasive species, coordinates educational events, uses and promotes native plant alternatives, and may provide free technical assistance to landowners, including invasive species property surveys, and management plans. CISMAs are supported by "The Indiana Invasives Initiative" which is a five year project (Sept. 2017-2022) funded by a cooperative agreement between the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) and the nonprofit Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management (SICIM). A few websites to visit to learn more:,,, and Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District plans to host an initial CISMA meeting this fall.

If you are interested in attending, please contact us at 765-747-5531 ext 3 or

UPDATED Indiana Invasive Plant List

Indiana has updated its invasive species list, designating 31 species of aquatic plants and 97 species of terrestrial plants as invasive pests.

All species listed are invasive per the Federal Executive Order 1371, safeguarding the nation from the impact of invasive species. Species are ranked based on their invasiveness in the state.

The list of plant species can be found at

To report an invasive plant pest: call 866-NO-EXOTIC (866-663-9684) or your local Nursery Inspector. You can also report by using the website: or by email to:


THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this volunteer event to remove invasive garlic mustard from three locations in Delaware County! There were ten 20 gal. bags of the plant removed from Dutro-Ernst Woods, a RedTail property.

Before Weed Wrangle at Dutro-Woods.
After Weed Wrangle at Dutro-Woods.

Our next invasive workshop is being planned for Saturday July 25, 2020. More information will be available soon!

Wilderness Park Invasive Species Removal

As Blackford County Soil and Water Conservation District is one of our partners in the 2017 CWI grant, one line item is invasive control in Wilderness Park. Beginning in April 2018, approximately 5 acres of invasive shrubs, mostly honeysuckle, were mechanically cleared. The large shrubs were chipped down to the ground. In May, regrowth of the cleared shrubs was sprayed with systemic herbicide. A second spray was carried out in October, with good control being achieved. It is expected that one more year of treatment with herbicide will eliminate the cleared honeysuckle in this area.

The completed work has drastically changed the view of this area. Before removal, the honeysuckle was too dense to see beyond. Now, trail users have a good view of the woods as they slope towards the creek, as well as the meadow on the other side.

FREE Landowner Survey

Have an invasive plant question? Or an area that feels like it’s out of control? Know about invasive plants but just do not know where to start? The Indiana Invasives Initiative is here to help! The Indiana Invasives Initiative (III) is a collaboration between Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management (SICIM) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to manage invasive plants and raise public awareness of the devastation caused by these non-native pests. As a part of this Initiative, there are SICIM Regional Specialists who work at the local level with local people using local resources to target invasive species.

After the site visit, we develop an invasive species management plan, which includes what invasive plants were found and what options there are to control them. If you have more questions about landowner surveys or just an individual species you are dealing with, please reach out. No green space is too large or too small to be improved by the removal of invasive plant species.

Schedule your survey today!

More information about SICIM & the III can be found here: or follow us on social media. or

Contact your local Regional Specialist Liz Yetter via email at, or call/text at 765-277-1415, or contact our office at 765-747-5531 ext.3.

The "Pear" - Not a Nice Tree, It's an INVASIVE!!!

Source: Bradford flowering pear

This popular ornamental tree has become a serious problem. The white flowers produced by the tree are on of the first signs of spring in the Midwest. The Callery Pear is a common feature of plantings, urban trees, and housing additions. Unfortunately, the species is an aggressive invader of native forest, savanna, and prairie habitats across the eastern United States. The Callery pear outcompetes and suppresses native species that are much more desirable for wildlife habitat and forest health. Callery pear can be easily identified by its charismatic white flowers that appear in March/April as one of the first plants to bloom. It also has distinct waxy, egg-shaped leaves and some varieties, especially where escaped, have large thorns. The fruits of the tree are small, typically the size of a dime or smaller with rough, brown skin. When first produced in spring, the fruits are quite hard but they soften over the course of the spring and summer, typically being consumed by a variety of birds and small mammals in late summer and fall. Controlling this invasive species can be a challenge. Callery pear has a deep, strong taproot that limits pulling even small stems. Additionally, it actively stump sprouts meaning when cut or girdled follow up herbicide treatment is necessary to kill an individual plant. Finally, the general form of most stems is rather spindly with leaves close to the stem (and each other). This means spray herbicide application has limited success. As is the case with many invasive species, successive mechanical and/or herbicide treatments are most successful in effectively controlling and eradicating this species. Contributing to the challenge of eradicating the species is the fact that the trees are actively available for retail and wholesale purchase by developers and consumers. Eliminating existing landscape and invading specimens is important, but consumers should also avoid purchasing and planting ornamental pear trees.

For a list of retailers who sell native plants and do not sell invasive species, visit

Hello from the Indiana Invasives Initiative

For those of you who haven't heard, there is a new program in the state called the Indiana Invasives Initiative or III. But what is the Indiana Invasives Initiative? The III is a collaboration between Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasive Management (SICIM) and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to manage invasive plants and raise public awareness of the devastation caused by these non-native pests. As part of this Initiative, there are SICIM Regional Specialists who work at the local level with local people using local resources to target invasive species.

But what are invasive species? Well, an invasive species is a non-native plant, animal or other organisms that cause harm to the environment, human health or the economy. An example is the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that causes damage and/or death to ash trees. These also include invasive plants which have negative impacts on native species, agriculture, forestry, infrastructure, and human health. These plant invaders can alter soil chemistry, cause erosion, affect changes in climate, disrupt ecosystems, harbor disease-carrying pests, and contribute to the extinction of endangered species.

What can be done? Throughout the state, groups are forming at the local level called CISMAs. CISMA stands for Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas. CISMAs operate by engaging local interests and addressing invasive species issues across various land ownership. These CISMAs work at the local level to raise awareness about invasive species, providing education and outreach to the area.

There is a CISMA forming here in Delaware County and we want you to be part of the solution. Meetings are being planned for January and February for everyone to learn more about invasive plants and what is being done here in Indiana to address the problem. For more information, contact Delaware Co. SWCD at 765-747-5531 ext 3 or, Purdue Extension-Delaware County, Laurynn Thieme, 765-747-7732 or me, Liz Yetter, at or 765-277-1415. Also, please visit our website:

lnvasives are coming, invasives are coming!!

Actually, they are already here. And we can all do a part to hault the invasion. How do we know what's an invasive and what isn't? Are all weeds invasive? Can "landscape" plants be invasive? What harm does invasives do? Are only plants considered invasive?

Last question first- No, there are invasive insects, animals, fish, even fungus. Regardless of the species, the definition of invasive remains the same: an invasive is a non-native species, to a specific geographic region, that infests natural areas and causes environmental or econimic harm, or harm to human health. Does that make all "non-natives" invasive? No, "causes harm" are the key words here. For this newsletter, we will only be discussing plants.

So, What about weeds? It's been said: "weeds are anything that is growing where you don't want it to". The first definition given by an internet dictionary for a weed is "a valueless plant growing wild". If a specific weed is native to a specific geographic region, it is not an invasive -for that region. However, that same weed could be nonnative in a different geographic region and if it "causes harm" it would be considered invasive. All this being said, some weeds may just simply fall into the "nuisance" category. Yes, "landscape" or "decorative" plants can be invasive, if they are non-native. Examples are: Bradford Pear, Burning Bush, and Chinese Maiden Grass.

lnvasives do harm in several ways. They cost money to mange and protect natural areas. In the U.S. damage by invasives has reached $15 billion, growing each year. For just Indiana, the cost is $5.7 million. They hurt wildlife by crowding out native plants that provide food and cover. They reduce or destroy habitat needed by native, endangered species, beneficial pollinators, and insects. They may decrease your ability to enjoy outdoor/recreational activities by damanging forests, waterways, and even your own garden.

What can you do? When selecting plants, verify they are native, non-invasive plants and look for the "Grow Native" logo. The Indiana Native Plant and Wildflow~r Society (INPAWS) has a good website for viewing native plants at: www. The official list of invasive plants found in Indiana is at: Scout your property for invasives and remove them. Removal methods may include herbicide use, burning, and/or manual removal. Obviously, caution is required with all of these methods and a complete plan should be developed before beginning. Repeated removal may be required as new growth appears. Replant areas cleared with native plants as needed.

Talk to neighbors and co-workers about invasives. Volunteer to help remove invasives in public areas. Report invasives through Report IN at