Other Sustainability

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Controlling Invasive Species

Invasive species are plants, animals or other organisms that are non-native to a habitat. If allowed to thrive, these species can kill or out-compete with the native species in that ecosystem. Lakeside Nature Center has focused on limiting the invasive plants that have been introduced to our habitats around Fox Hollow Trail.

Volunteers Clearing Invasive Bush Honeysuckle. Photo © Jim Hinds.

Friends of Fox Hollow schedule workdays throughout the year to remove invasive species in the habitats around the Nature Center.

To learn more about volunteering with Friends of Fox Hollow:
• Visit our events page for scheduled workdays,
• Call Lakeside Nature Center at (816) 513-8960,
• Email ruth.stephens@kcmo.org

Bush Honeysuckle

Bush Honeysuckle. Photo © Missouri Department of Conservation

Bush honeysuckles were planted decades ago for their attractive red fruits. However, they have become one of the most dangerous threats to our native savannas, woodlands and forests. In spring their oval leaves are the first to emerge, and they stay green longer in the autumn. They block the sun from the forest floor during the entire growing season, shading out our wildflowers and even seedlings of trees. The plant also competes for soil, moisture and nutrients. It may even produce a chemical that inhibits the growth of native plants. And worse, birds spread their seeds everywhere through droppings. In upland woods, and on the hillsides, this honeysuckle has become the most abundant shrub.

For more information on controlling bush honeysuckle, go here.

Eastern Red Cedar

Eastern Red Cedar. Photo © Missouri Botanical Gardens

Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is the most widespread native coniferous tree in the eastern United States. It thrives in most soil conditions and causes several types of destruction to native habitats. By intercepting rainfall, the the eastern red cedar can block and consume between 25% to 60% of the rainfall in an area, taking away water that native plants need to stay alive. They also have many features that fuel wildfires. The flammable foliage and bark catch fire easily and the oils of the tree make it quick to ignite. Even the cone-shape of the red cedar increases the risk of fire by keeping the majority of its foliage close to the ground. A burning red cedar can spread thousands of embers downwind, increasing the rate of a wildfire’s spread.

For more information on controlling eastern red cedars, go here.

Bradford Pear Tree

Bradford Pear Tree. Photo © Missouri Department of Conservation

A native tree from Asia, the Bradford pear tree, also called Callery pear tree, are ornamental trees widely used in landscaping. Originally bred to be sterile, these trees escaped cultivation and invaded the natural landscape. The early blooms quickly become fruits which birds eat and deposit elsewhere. The seeds germinate quickly and create dense thickets that greedily out-complete our valuable native species for resources.

For more information on controlling Bradford pear trees, go here.

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