From your back yard to your favorite beach, invading plants are crowding out desirable native plants across the state of Michigan.
Here are a few tips to get rid of them or at least stop them from spreading.
Learn to recognize them. Check out the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' invasive species page at www.michigan.gov/invasives. Many of the plants are distinctive, and, once you start looking at photos, you'll see how common some of them are.
Don't buy them. Some invasive species are or have been sold as landscaping plants because they're pretty. One example is purple loosetrife, which has crowded out cattails. When you make landscaping decisions, choose plants that will live in harmony with the native species around them.
Don't spread them. Wipe down your boots and shake out your coat after a walk in the woods; power-wash your boat after using to keep from carrying aquatic plant pieces and seeds to other bodies of water. Find guidelines here.
Report them. If you see new plants proliferating in a familiar area, report them. Tracking is a key factor in stopping the spread of invasives. Here's where to send your info: www.misin.msu.edu.