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Forest Service offers free guide to managing invasive plants

AUBURN, Ala. The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) is distributing free copies of a new guide, titled "A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests," that gives homeowners, gardeners, land managers and others information on controlling and removing invasive plants in the South.

"The guide provides the latest information on how to create and carry out prevention programs, implement management practices, and rehabilitate and restore land," said Jim Miller, Ph.D., an emeritus SRS research ecologist based in Auburn, Ala., and lead author of the book. "The guide serves as a staple for foresters, natural resource managers and others who want to remove invasive plants that have become a serious problem in the 13 southern states."

Invasive plants often harm forests and other natural areas by pushing out native plants, which degrades habitat and adversely affects wildlife. Exotic plants often reduce forest productivity, native plant and animal diversity, and water quality and quantity.

Jim Miller authored "A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests" with Steven Manning, president of Invasive Plant Control, Inc., and Stephen Enloe, Ph.D., weed management specialist at Auburn University. Miller is considered one of the foremost authorities on invasive plants in the South.

Published by SRS, the book provides information on developing strategies for combating 56 of the most pervasive invasive species in the South such as kudzu, tallowtree, tree-of-heaven and Japanese honeysuckle. The 120-page guide informs readers on how invasive plants spread, preventative measures that help reduce their distribution, and how to develop management plans. The guide combines 392 colorful photos with details on herbicides, application methods, biological controls, tools and mechanical treatments, grazing techniques and more.

The guide is the companion book to "A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests," which SRS unveiled in August 2010. Both guides originated from the book "Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A Field Guide for Identification and Control," published by the Station in 2003.


Contact: Stevin Westcott
USDA Forest Service ‑ Southern Research Station

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