Event in North Carolina highlights the good and bad of kudzu

In the Mountain XPress

by Kari Barrows

For a reviled invasive species, kudzu has a surprising number of fans. Nancy Basket is one. The artist first encountered the plant when she moved to South Carolina from the Pacific Northwest in 1989.

“Nobody liked it — everybody had jokes about it,” Basket recalls. “But I’m Cherokee on my dad’s side, German on my mother’s, and I have a different outlook. Just like some people can dog-whisper, I could kind of whisper to plants, and I felt kudzu was reaching out, trying to find somebody that liked it.” Continue reading

Registration open for Ohio River Valley Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop

by Carol Lea Spence, University of Kentucky

The Ohio River Valley Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop returns to Kentucky on March 25.

This year’s workshop, a tri-state event covering Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, will be held in the Boone County Cooperative Extension Enrichment Center in Burlington. Forestry experts will provide an array of forestry- and wildlife-related educational sessions to help woodland owners get the most from their properties. Continue reading

USDA scientist looks for natural enemies in Asia to control invasive plants

By Sharon Durham, Agricultural Research Service

This June, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) ecologist Melissa Smith traveled to Asia to collect insects that can control the spread of several invasive plant species in the United States that originated in Asia.

Predator and prey co-evolve in nature’s “arms race” for survival. When plants and animals are moved from their native habitats to new locales where they have no natural enemies, their populations can grow unchecked. Continue reading

Registration open for tri-state Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop

By Carol Lea Spence, University of Kentucky

The Ohio River Valley Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop will be held April 2 in Madison, Indiana. The annual workshop provides an array of forestry- and wildlife-related educational opportunities to help woodland owners get the most from their properties.

Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Services of University of Kentucky, Purdue University and The Ohio State University, as well as the Indiana Forestry and Woodland Owners Association, the one-day workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT at Clifty Falls State Park. Purdue will host this year’s event. Continue reading

National Invasive Species Awareness Week – Webinars

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is Monday, February 22 through Thursday, February 25. Hosted by the National Association of Invasive Plant Councils, this week of webinars will educate you on what’s going on in the battle against invasive species. See www.nisaw.org for more information on the weeks events. Continue reading

Attracting Pollinators to your Home Garden (in the South)

by Dr. Danesha Seth Carley, co-Director, Southern IPM Center

General Suggestions

You can attract butterflies and other insect pollinators to your yard or garden by growing plants that are attractive to both humans and pollinators (see list below for suggestions). You do not need a formal garden to include plants that will attract and support pollinators; even small patches of plants can help.

When choosing plants for your pollinator habitat, it is always best to aim for plant diversity. Consider that the bees and butterflies you want to attract need either food or habitat year-round. By including a variety of blooming herbs, trees and shrubs, vines as well as annuals and perennials in your garden, you will be not only attracting native pollinators, but also providing them a year-round place to thrive. Continue reading

Clemson scouting for federally designated noxious weed

by Scott Miller, Clemson University

Benghal dayflower, a state- and federally designated noxious weed that spreads rapidly and can smother agricultural crops, has been identified in Dorchester County.

Officials with the Clemson University Department of Plant Industry (DPI) will be scouting fields Oct. 5-9 in Dorchester, Colleton, Orangeburg and Bamberg counties to determine the extent of the weed’s infestation. All DPI personnel will have state-issued identification badges. Continue reading