by Barbara Walvoord
Originally published in the Lathrop Lamp Post, May 12-18, 2018
Walking along Mulberry Lane on the east campus this week, the unexpected patch of green (right side of the photo) might warm our hearts, when other shrubs are still brown, or just beginning to leaf out (left side of the photo). In a few weeks, the green shrubs on the right will burst into fragrant white blooms. Later, the red berries will attract many birds.
But in fact, the thicket of green shrubs on the right is very wrong. The shrubs are invasive honeysuckle from Asia—so invasive that it is now illegal to import, propagate, or sell them in Massachusetts. The Indiana DNR reports, “Asian bush honeysuckles grow so densely they shade out everything on the forest floor, often leaving nothing but bare soil. This means a great reduction in the food and cover available for birds and other animals. Serious infestations can inhibit tree regeneration, essentially stopping forest succession. Higher rates of nest predation have been found in Amur honeysuckle than Continue reading What’s Wrong with this Picture?