Why does a non-native plant spread so quickly?
Non-native plants spread because they have no natural predators or competitors to keep their populations in check. Oftentimes these plants have short reproduction cycles, produce many seeds or fruits, have seeds that remain viable for many years, and are happy living in the full range of climatic conditions, all of which help them dominate.
In contrast, the diverse array of trees, shrubs, and groundcover plants that make up our native northwest forest have grown here together for centuries. They have developed complex interactions and together they support each other, native wildlife, and a healthy, functioning, holistic ecosystem.
In many urban areas in the Puget Sound, a history of logging, development, and other human activity has degraded the seed bank of our native species, and left us with open spaces overgrown or quickly becoming overgrown with aggressive invasives. The goal of the Green City Partnerships is to remove these invasive plants, primarily through the work of dedicated volunteers, in order to re-establish that healthy native natural habitat. Join us for a restoration event by following the links on the right to your local Green City Partnership!
* thanks Elsa for help writing this post!