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Invasive Plant Species Removal Planned for the Smith College Campus

What is an invasive exotic plant?

an alien plant spreading naturally (without the direct assistance of people)
in natural or seminatural habitats, to produce a significant change in terms of composition, structure or ecosystem processes

Cronk, Q.C. and J.C. and Fuller, Plant Invaders, Chapman and Hall, 1995

Why do we have invasive plants at botanic gardens?

For centuries botanic gardens have been collecting and displaying plants from across the globe. The plants were studied, classified, preserved, propagated, and further distributed to other gardens. Over the years exotics were often introduced into commercial trade and became part of the landscape far from their native regions. At first no one realized there could be any negative consequences to introducing so many species. When some of the introduced plants escaped cultivation, a few of them grew in large numbers and spread, displacing native flora and disrupting the balance of ecosystems.

State Guidelines

Regional legislation has been enacted to deal with this issue. The state of Massachusetts has guidelines published on line at:
Massachusetts Department of Agriculture

Assessment of Invasive Plants at the Botanic Garden of Smith College

A student intern at the Botanic Garden of Smith College has analyzed the problem of invasive plants on the Smith campus to assess how many members of its plant collection should be removed because they are now known to be invasive.


At Smith, we have begun removing smaller species on the list but will now contract out the removal of many more plants. The removal of all invasives may take several years. Replacement plants will be installed in the spring in most locations. The removals in the fall of 2006 will be:

3 Norway maples between Lamont and Unity House
1 Norway maple at Hopkins north (towards College Lane)
1 Norway maple at Hubbard House
1 tree of heaven near Ziskind House
1 amur cork tree at Park House
1 amur cork tree at Parsons (on the street -- to be removed by the Electric Company)

3 winged euonymus at Wright Hall
1 winged euonymus at Nielson Library
3 winged euonymus near Admissions
3 winged euonymus near 10 Prospect Street
1 very large winged euonymus at Northrup southwest corner
5 Japanese barberry at Ziskind southwest
2 Japanese barberry at Capen Garden
1 Japanese barberry at Unity House
1 Morrow’s honeysuckle at Northrup north

1 Japanese honeysuckle at Allbright House
1 oriental bittersweet at the Campus School

Examples of other college campuses with similar programs:

University of Wisconsin
University of Florida
University of California at Santa Cruz

Local environmental groups and wildlife experts:

New England Wild Flower Society


©2002, The Botanic Garden of Smith College
Northampton MA 01063
(413) 585-2740

Smith College

Last updated on Monday, November 27, 2006.