Controlling Invasive Exotic Plants in North Florida Forests

figure 1 Chinese tallow

Of the more than 4,000 known plant species growing in Florida, approximately 30% are not native to Florida or the Southeast, and in the US invasive exotic species cost an estimated $120 billion each year in damages. Early detection and removal of invasive plants is the key to successful management. This publication describes many of the current methods used in north Florida forest operations to manage invasive exotic plants. It also provides references for additional sources of information. Written by Chris Demers, Patrick Minogue, Michael Andreu, Alan Long, and Rick Williams.

Biology, Control and Invasive Potential of Giant Reed (Arundo donax L.) in Florida

Arundo donax, or giant reed
Arundo donax (L.), also known as giant reed, is a tall, fast-growing, bamboo-like grass that under ideal conditions can reach a height of up to 30 feet and a stem diameter up to 1.5 inches. Giant reed is invasive and difficult to control and has caused economic losses in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. This species was introduced to Florida over 100 years ago and is currently naturalized in at least 26 of the 67 Florida counties. So far giant reed has not proved problematic in Florida, but recent permitting of its planting for bioenergy feed stock may increase the risk that it could naturalize into plant communities in Florida and other southeastern states and potentially cause economic losses as well as harm to native species and habitats. This 5-page fact sheet written by Pat Minogue and Seth Wright and published by the School of Forest Resources and Conservation describes the biology of this species and explains some strategies for its control.