Driving from metropolitan area to the next, you may notice as you're driving on the highway a significant decrease in invasive vegetation the further you get away from a metropolitan and significant increase in invasive vegetation the closer you get to the next one. One study found that Horticulture aka the art of landscaping, has brought us 82% of the invasive woody plants currently present in the environment. Since our cities and towns are the main places where horticulture is practices, they tend to be hubs for old, "on the rise", and new invasive plants. In the Cincinnati/NKY/Southeast Indiana Metropolitan Bush Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) is one of our older invasive plants, and most established/destructive species. Due to its origin in a colder bio-region of within Asia, it holds on to its leaves well into late November locally, and begins budding out in late March. Due to its early onset of leaves, spring wildflowers of the forest can't take advantage of the early season sunlight before the trees put there leaves on in the canopy. This leads to this shrub destroying wildflower diversity within forests. Furthermore, since we've fragmented what was once more or less a continuous forest ecosystem, honeysuckle now dominates on the edges of forest which would be a niche native shrubs and small native trees like those I'll list below. This species is at the point where you could just stop mowing your lawn, and in 5 years, your lawn will have become a formidable thicket of honeysuckle forming (Don't test that statement out.).
I'd like to list 9 native replacements for once you've removed honeysuckle from your property, that not only beautify and attract native wildlife, but also have the adaptability to spread/reproduce and reclaim the niche that the honeysuckle had been occupying.
Full Sun Exposure Replacements (+6 Hours Sun Exposure)
UK Arboretum in Lexington, Kentucky in 2012 (The pictures below shows their growth since then). Hazelnuts are one our most widespread, hardy shrubs finding niches within Forest, Savannah, and Prairie ecosystems. In Cincinnati this shrub is rarely seen, likely having it's potential niches occupied fully by Bush Honeysuckle, the dominant invasive of the moment.
American Hazelnut - Corylus americana
American Wild Plum - Prunus americana
Eastern Redbud - Cercis Canadensis
Partial Sun-Partial Shade Exposure (3-6 Hours Sun Exposure)
Pawpaw - Asimina triloba
Blackhaw Viburnum - Viburnum prunifolium
Flowering Dogwood - Cornus florida
Eastern Wahoo - Euonymous atropurpureus
Partial-Full Shade ( 2 or less direct hours of sunlight)
Maple leaf Viburnum - Viburnum acerifolium
Spicebush- Lindera benzoin
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