our professional arborists explain invasive plant species in alberta

How to Deal with Invasive Plant Species in Edmonton

Do you have plants taking over your garden but don’t know how they got there? 

Have you tried to remove them, only to find them coming back and spreading year after year? You may have invasive plants growing in your yard. Don’t panic! Our arborists are here to help you identify invasive plant species and how to remedy the situation.

What are invasive plants?

Invasive species are plants that aren’t native to a particular region and spread aggressively, often overpowering native plants in the process. These plants grow so successfully due to the absence of the insects and diseases that keep them in check in their native ecosystem. In time, they often choke out the local plants that are important for maintaining the biodiversity of the habitat.

Invasive plants have a negative impact on their new ecosystem because they remove native food sources from local animals and alter the environment—a process called ecological facilitation--in a way that suits the invasive plant, but not the plants and creatures that originally called the area home, thereby throwing the ecosystem off-balance. 

How did invasive plant species get all the way to Alberta?

Invasive species are usually introduced in one of two ways: they were either sold as ornamental plants and “escaped” from gardens (in Alberta, these include Himalayan balsam, salt cedar and flowering rush), or they were accidentally spread from agricultural settings (Canada thistle, common tansy and ox-eye daisy are some examples). 

Many escaped ornamental plants were originally sold by nurseries or greenhouses for use in gardens and landscaping before it was known how potentially damaging their species could be. Their seeds are still sometimes found in “wildflower” seed mixes.

How You Can Avoid Spreading Invasive Plants

If you have an invasive species in your yard, you should try to dispose of the entire plant, including the roots and seeds. If weeding doesn’t work, research the best methods for killing off the specific type of plant or contact an arborist to evaluation the situation. 

Here are a few things you can do to combat the spread of invasive plants:

  • Don’t plant “wildflower” seed mixes, as they often contain invasive species
  • When hiking, stay on marked paths to reduce the spread of seeds
  • Get rid of any seeds you find on your dog’s fur 
  • Pull out clumps of invasive plants before they go to seed
  • Never put invasive plants in the compost to avoid spreading seeds
To familiarize yourself with all the plants that are considered invasive in Alberta, consult the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry website.

All Season Tree Service Is Here to Help! 

If you efforts at removing unwanted plants from your garden aren’t working, you need professional tree services. An experienced arborist will safely remove invasive species without using chemicals that can harm plants you want to keep. We offer this service as well as tree removal, pruning and stump grinding to people all over the Edmonton area and the surrounding cities. Call us today to regain control of your garden at 780-464-2436.