Invasive plants are on the rise in Cincinnati. Now some are calling for a stricter state policy
Higan cherry, Amur cork tree, Amur honeysuckle, wintercreeper and English ivy are among the top invasive species in the Queen City.
With a serious invasive plant problem here and across the state, a Cincinnati Parks employee is calling on Ohio to create a more stringent policy on banned plants. Drew Goebel says there is a state list of invasive species.
"But there's a bunch of gray areas of plants that are still sold at nurseries not on an Ohio invasive list because there's not enough documentation to say 'this thing's everywhere and we really shouldn't plant this anymore,' " says Goebel, who surveys vegetation and creates land management plans for the Cincinnati Parks Department.
Goebel says there are plenty of plants on the state list, but he's finding double or triple that number in Cincinnati parks that need to be on that list.
Cincinnati Parks volunteers spent 8,000 hours removing invasive plants last year.
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UC Biology Professor Denis Conover is well aware of the problem and proves the damage invasive plants have done in the latest botanical survey, done once every hundred years.
"One of the things that is most striking now, there are many more non-native invasive plant species here," he says. "It's very bad because the non-native plants can take over and outcompete the native plants. And the native wildlife depends on the native vegetation."
Examples of invasive plants include Higan cherry, Amur honeysuckle, wintercreeper and English ivy.
Conover encourages people to plant native species.
He expects to be finished with his plant survey, as WVXU has reported on in the past, in the next several years.