Why winter is a great time to take action on invasive plants

It’s tempting to take winter out of the relentless calendar of invasive plant removal. But invasive plants have become incredibly well-established since we brought them to our shores during the last two centuries and restoring our native balance is going to take a long time.

A recap of early columns, and the next Action Day

Since October 2019, this column has profiled some of the worst invasive plants plaguing Granby’s fields, farms, forests, and gardens, and described ways to control them. This month’s column reviews in brief the first year of NOT WANTED columns.

Garden-Variety Invasive Plants

Many of the state’s most serious invasive plants appear in home gardens as well as the open areas they rapidly dominate. Garlic mustard, multiflora rose, Asiatic bittersweet, Japanese barberry, Japanese knotweed and mugwort pop up and should be pulled by the roots when young.

Invasive action in town and at home

Invasive Plant Activists (IPAs) now gather monthly on the second Saturday morning to control invasive plants and allow natives to flourish.

Invasive Action 2 and What’s Invasive? Second Invasive Action Day Spawns a Habit

Twelve energized volunteers from Granby and Simsbury gave native plants breathing room and a chance to thrive at two West Granby sites on March 13. The bracing winds and cool temps gradually abated through the morning and complemented the internal heat produced by cutting, uprooting, dragging and flattening invasive plants.

Winged Euonymus / Burning Bush Euonymus alatus

A colorful, apparently innocuous shrub that can grow over 10 or 15 feet tall, the winged euonymus displays wild fall color ranging from light pink to fire red. In March, before leaves sprout, it’s easily identified by unusual “wings” on side branches.

Cabin Fever

If you’re sick and tired of the pandemic era and going a little stir-crazy, break through the winter blues by joining your neighbors to take action on invasive plants.

Granby Strikes Back!

Under clear blue skies on Nov. 7, nine intrepid Granby volunteers bravely strode into the prickers and vines at Holcomb Farm. Armed with loppers, shovels, pruners, saws and grim good humor, they hacked through multiple layers of robust invasives accustomed to frolicking freely and smothering native trees and shrubs.