If you are thinking about planting 1 or more plants or trees in or around Alpharetta you should consider whether they are considered invasive. The 4 plants and trees on this list are detrimental to the environment and are considered invasive. A full list can be found on Georgia’s Exotic Pest Plant Council. We are going to go over 4 here because even bringing awareness to a small number can result in big help from our readers.
The first one on the list is a tree referred to as Tree Of Heaven. This tree doesn’t normally grow around Alpharetta. It is native to Asia. It’s name may be lovely however this tree is no angel. It is a very invasive species that devours its surroundings and chokes out other plant life. The tree literally kills nearby plants with a chemical that it releases through its root system. It also produces a lot of seeds. Has very few bugs that want to feed on it and it is disease resistant. Another nickname for this plant is stinking sumac. This brings us to the second reason that you do not want this growing anywhere near you. It plain out stinks. There is a pungent odor released from the flowers of the tree that smell as if someone that was wading through water for 3 days and didn’t change their socks decided it was time to air them out. If you plant one in your backyard, watch out, because it will grow and reproduce quickly. In no time it will kill its surroundings, stink you out and claim the yard as its own before it moves on to claim other territories.
The next one on our list is the Chinese Privet. This bad boy has made it’s self known by multiplying at a concerning rate. This is another plant that is native to Asia. While it can grow in tropical areas it can also grow in Georgia. It does have some pretty white flowers that can be used to decorate a bouquet of flowers. However, it is not recommended. One reason is that the odor that comes off the flower is thought to irritate the respiratory system. The fruit that it grows is highly toxic if consumed. It can cause everything from nausea, headache, diarrhea, as well as lower blood pressure and lower body temperature. It is something you would not want to have around small children who seem to eat everything that they can get in their mouths. Don’t plant it, don’t grow it, and chop it down if it is on your property.
The third one we have for you is the Princess Tree. This tree is known to be invasive because of two things. One it doesn’t care if something was growing there first, it will take over and out compete it’s competition. Taking over the sunlight, water, minerals, and leave the other plant without any. It will take over a whole swath of woods without any issue. It is disease resistant, and drought resistant. So really nothing can kill these things naturally once they get started. They also release many capsules full of seeds. Each pod has over 2500 seeds and the tree releases many pods. Once these pods bust and the winged seeds fly over the ground another round of rapidly growing trees will kill off much of the existing plant habitat.
The 4th and final plant here is the Marsh Dayflower. While this pretty purple flower seems to be nice and inviting it is anything but. It is called a Marsh Dayflower because it grows around wet areas like rivers, lakes, streams and ponds. The problem comes that they grow thick and fast. Usually when these are growing they take over all the other plant life and you will see only this plant. September through November they will flower with a little purple tri petal flower. If this plant is growing near your water this will be the only thing growing there.
This list is only 4 of the plants listed as invasive. Each person should do their part to help control these plants for the sake of diversity. The more these plants grow the less diversity we have in the area. So, please help Alpharetta get rid of some of these invasive species.