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HIPP’s Approach to Controlling Invasives

Removing invasive plants at Johnson Field Preserve.

Harpswell is situated on a narrow peninsula and islands, so the potential for contaminating the ocean or our restricted fresh water supply is great. We work to control invasives without further damaging water, soil, desirable plants and people. We try to avoid using herbicides whenever possible.

The most successful approaches to limiting the spread of invasives are to not plant them and to eliminate them as soon as they appear. HIPP doesn’t have the resources to eliminate all the invasive plants in Harpswell so it is important to prioritize our attack. Controlling a patch of invasive plants takes careful planning and can require repeated treatments over many years. “Best practices” should always be used to ensure success and to avoid environmental impacts. Often more than one method of control may be needed depending upon the species present, the extent of the invasion and the workforce available. At HIPP we start with non-chemical methods, such as repeated pulling or mowing of invasive plants. When we need to use herbicides, we use the least environmentally damaging formulation and application method practical (such as carefully painting an herbicide onto the cut stem of a large vine, invasive shrub or a tree).

For more information about using herbicides, click here.