Forests are a wonderful place to relax, enjoy nature, hunt, and engage in other fun activities, but our enjoyment of our forests is threatened by numerous invasive plant species. These plants can outcompete – and sometimes, even replace – native plant species, which significantly impacts the long-term health of our forests.
Since the Emerald Ash Borer first invaded Michigan in 2002, it has killed millions of native ash trees across the state, and even more across the country. But despite its continued importance in Michigan, the Emerald Ash Borer is not the only invasive insect responsible forest landowners should be looking out for.
How do you enjoy your woods? Are you a bird watcher or a hunter? Do you harvest the berries, mushrooms, or timber that it produces? Maybe you just enjoy the natural beauty of trees. Like your yard and garden, your woods need to be cared for so that they meet your needs and wants. Forests change over time. As trees and plants grow and die, other plants will grow in their place. Wildlife will change too, as their food and habitat changes. You can create and maintain a woodlot that you will enjoy by removing plants that you don’t want, planting ones that you do want, managing insects and disease, and harvesting products.