Alien Species: Plants and Trees That Have Invaded Vancouver, BC

Tree health care professionals of Vancouver, British Columbia discuss the detrimental effects of invasive plant species.

Invasive Plants And Trees And What To Do About Them

Vancouver and all of the province of British Columbia is known for the beauty of its landscaping and its natural forests. Even here, there are plants that have crept in that don’t belong. The question may arise, if a plant is thriving in an area, how can it be problematic?

Intuitively, it would seem that a plant that thrives would belong in the ecosystem in which it is growing, but that is not the case with plants that are known as invasive or alien species.

The following paragraphs will explain why these plants harm the local environment and what people can do to help.

Why Are Non-Native Species Problematic?

As previously stated, it might seem good for a plant to thrive in a new environment. This is not entirely wrong. Some species can become naturalized, or integrate themselves harmoniously into the local ecosystem.

Other plants, whether they are brought in accidentally with a shipment of other things or they are introduced on purpose for landscaping and decoration, can wreak havoc on local flora and fauna.

A few of the ways alien species cause problems for native environments are listed below:

  • Disrupts Food Web: Alien species can be harmful to the animals that normally feed on plants. Giant hogweed is a perfect example of this. Its sap can actually cause blistering and sun sensitivity.
  • Steals Nutrients and Sunlight: Fast growing plants like English ivy can cover up other plants, smothering them and keeping them from getting sunlight. They can also rob the soil of nutrients.
  • Harms Pollinators: Butterflies and moths often need specific plants for laying their eggs. Many plants may attract them for food, but the population will not continue without the plants they need for reproduction. Monarchs and milkweed are the best examples of this phenomenon.

What are the Worst Invasive Species in This Area?

Some of the most invasive plants in all of British Columbia are listed below. These plants can cause difficulties for other plantlife and animal life throughout the province.

  • Giant Hogweed
  • Common Tansy
  • Yellow and Orange Hawkweed
  • Japanese Knotweed
  • English Holly
  • English Ivy
  • Himalayan Blackberry

Sometimes it can be difficult to identify invasive species without proper training, so if you suspect there is a non-native plant in your yard, there are several things you can do.

What Can We Do About It?

One of the easiest ways to help promote native growth is to plant native. Native plants and trees will attract helpful insects and animals and will thrive. If a homeowner does suspect that they have an invasive species, they should consult an arborist.

A tree service company can assist in tree removal and plant removal. Some of these alien species are difficult to get rid of and need special attention.  A certified arborist can help you choose the right flora for your yard that will help the overall environment.

About VI Tree Service

VI Tree Service of Vancouver, BC provides excellent tree and plant health care for all of Vancouver island. We not only offer tree removal, tree trimming, and tree pruning, we also offer landscaping services and arboricultural consultation. Call today for an estimate.