Invasive plants are species that can grow and spread aggressively, mature quickly, and invade an ecosystem causing economic and environmental damage. Invasive plants usually invade disturbed areas, but can also colonize small areas quickly, and may spread and dominate large areas in a few short years. Invasive plant species displace native or desirable forest vegetation, degrade the native food resources and cover for wildlife, threaten native plants (such as rare or endangered wildflowers or orchids), and can be expensive to control or eradicate. Invasive plants can be herbaceous or woody; annual, biennial, or perennial; grasses, shrubs, trees, or vines that reproduce by seeds, shoots, or roots; and plants that usually produce an abundance of seeds that can germinate easily. Recognition, prevention, and early control strategies can be keys to invasive plant management. Once an invasive species becomes established, it is much more difficult to control or eradicate.
Beasley, Rochelle R.; Pijut, Paula M. 2010. Invasive plant species in hardwood tree plantations. FNR-230-W West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Extension Service, Hardwood Tree Improvement Center. 25 p.