The Story of an Elm Tree

THE STORY OF AN ELM TREE Early in December, a big old American elm tree came down in front of the Agriculture Canada building on University Ave. It was one of over 350 elms that the City of Charlottetown is removing in an attempt to protect the remaining healthy elm from contracting Dutch Elm Disease […]

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PEI Envirothon 2015 Recap

This week we hear from our Parks Canada representative, Linda Thomas: It is mid-December and while most of the invasive species are in winter mode, it is important not to let their presence fade too far away in our minds. I would like to take this time to share the wonderful experience Julie-Lynn and I […]

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Eating Invasives Part 2

While we are all thinking about how to cook our winter vegetables and swapping cookie recipes with family and friends, I thought it was time to rekindle our creativity in how to tackle invasive species. Here are a few resources and recipes you may want to share with like-minded folks across the country or try […]

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Eating Invasives

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Invasive plants can be found across PEI. Some occur in small patches, others are widespread. Some we have welcomed (e.g. lupins), others we detest (e.g. Japanese knotweed). While our opinions vary between species, I think we can all […]

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American Beech and Beech Bark Disease

American Beech, Fagus grandifolia “Among deciduous trees there is nothing quite as majestic or as graceful as the beech.” ~ Donald Wyman, Horticulturist A native tree of PEI… • produces edible nuts • great for firewood • leaves can hang on the tree throughout the winter • the smooth bark makes for easier to ID. […]

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The PEIISC Helping with 2015 PEI Envirothon Competition!

This fall, the PEIISC has been helping the Provincial Forests, Fish and Wildlife division prepare for the 2015 Envirothon competition! Envirothon is an international environmental education competition for high school students. Through the competition, students get a chance to work with and learn from local professionals working in natural resource sciences, and develop their team-building […]

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What’s eating your snowball bush? … or who?

Like many Islanders… you might have a snowball bush in your backyard. Have you noticed lots of holes in its leaves? You likely have an infestation of the viburnum leaf beetle (VLB)! This small beetle is native to Europe and Asia and was first found in North America in 1947… in Ontario! The VLB feeds […]

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Be Careful Where You Put That!

Invasive plants are plant species that can be harmful when introduced into new areas. These species can invade agricultural and natural areas, causing serious damage to Canada’s economy and environment. There are over 480 invasive plant species known to exist in Canada of which over 120 species are known exist on P.E.I. One of the […]

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Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense): A Closer Look at a Common Invasive

Canada thistle is a non-native (despite the English name) perennial weed that originates in Europe. It has sharply-barbed, deeply lobed, spear-like leaves. The flower is a purple pom-pom shape in clusters at the top of the plant (photo). When the seeds are mature, the flower will become white and fluffy, similar to a dandelion seed […]

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Invasive Species Key Cards

We have new invasive species identification cards! These are part of our Spotter’s Network resource kits and are given out to each volunteer spotter. If you would like to be a spotter, let us know and we can add you name to our ever growing list of volunteers. Email us at peiinvasives@gmail.com

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Gail Wallin visits with the PEIISC

Gail Wallin, the Executive Director of the Invasive Species Council of BC and the Co-chair of the Canadian Council on Invasive Species was on PEI this week and took some time to meet with the PEI Invasive Species council to discuss invasive species issues. Gail brings together decades of experience in natural resource management and […]

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Invasive Species in the News on PEI!

Invasive species were in the news again this week. This time council member, Julie-Lynn Zahavich, teamed up with Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group Coordinator, Kelley Arnold, to discuss the two groups’ approaches to monitoring invasives on PEI and why it is important. You can read the article here: http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2015-09-14/article-4275550/Invasive-species-can-threaten-P.E.I.-economy/1  

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Managing Invasive Species in PEI National Park

Each year in PEI National Park students are hired to assist with the ecological integrity monitoring. The first thing on the summer schedule is invasive species management; specifically garlic mustard which is really hard work and somewhat discouraging. I always wonder if they will come back the next day. I was curious how they felt […]

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The Tale of the Cane Toad

This week Karen Samis, Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at UPEI, shares a fascinating story that shows the plasticity of invasives and the organisms that are affected by their introduction. This is not a new story (nor a PEI one), but I think it serves as a good lesson for how careful we must […]

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The European Starling, a love hate relationship

This week we look at an avian invasive species, the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). It seems people either love European starlings or hate them. They are admittedly beautiful birds. In the spring their feathers are sleek, black, with a purple-green iridescence, and their bills are yellow. In the winter their dark feathers are heavily speckled […]

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Revisiting wild cucumber, (Echinocystis lobata)….

Although we posted about wild cucumber earlier, I thought is would be a good time to post again as it is in full bloom and really visible at this time of year. I have been seeing a lot of wild cucumber in my travels. A few areas that stand out are Kensington and Darnley. You […]

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New regulations for Kudzu – a species not in PEI…. yet!

Kudzu has just recently been added to the list of officially regulated pest plants for Canada! This means it may not be imported except under strict conditions for research purposes. Kudzu is an extremely invasive vine in the legume family. It will climb over other vegetation and completely cover structures. Kudzu has sometimes been planted […]

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Volunteer Spotters contributing to what we know about invasives on PEI!

Since our first Spotter’s Network training session in July, we have received an increased number of invasive species reports. We are learning that some of the species that we believed were quite rare are actually more common than we thought. One of those species is Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata). Before July, we knew about 2 […]

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A BITTERSWEET TALE

Here in beautiful Invasive Acres I have only to look around me to find abundant material for this column. I was going to provide an update on my struggle with the buckthorns, but as that would be rather depressing I decided to change the subject. So the subject of this article is Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum […]

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Our first Spotters Network training workshop!

We hosted our very first Spotter’s Network Training Workshop this morning in Charlottetown. The turnout was excellent – beyond what we expected, which is great! Those who attended learned how to photograph potential invaders, how to identify priority species and how to report their sightings to us. It was a great morning, with lots of […]

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Don’t Move Firewood

Invasive Insect and Disease pests in your firewood can destroy our forests, trees along our streets, parks, businesses and potentially your yard! Purchase firewood locally, burn it on site and leave left over firewood behind! To minimize the risk, the Invasive Species Council of P.E.I. encourages purchasing firewood locally, preferably from the campground or general […]

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It’s that time of year! Be sure to clean your boat!

Now that the weather is improving, it’s time to get out and enjoy our beautiful PEI wetlands and waterways. Did you know that maintaining the hull of your boat and cleaning it regularly, can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species? Aquatic invasive species are non-native plants and animals that can cause damage to […]

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A new field season, time to start looking for invasives!

At last the field season is in full swing in PEI National Park. Our students and I just spent the day picking garlic mustard in the rain at Cavendish Grove. Lots of fun! Soon we will be walking all the trails, campgrounds and other public areas looking for the five species we have targeted; garlic […]

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Consider what you plant, Choose native species!

You may have noticed that many of the recent posts have been about invasive plants that started out in our yards or gardens. We bring them in, we plant them, or seeds migrate from a neighbour’s garden. Many of the posts encourage you to make wise choices about what to plant, and what not to […]

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Virginia Creeper

This week’s post is on Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), a climbing vine that is native in Ontario and parts of Quebec. It is not native to PEI and hence – because it will smother trees and shrubs reducing diversity and may harm brick work and masonry, it is certainly not desired and considered invasive. It […]

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Please dispose of invasive plant material correctly!

Jackie Waddell, Council member here. I came into town from the west on my usual commute the other day, and part of my drive was behind and then beside a pick up pulling a flatbed trailer. On that low, open trailer was a load of un-secured Japanese Knotweed – garden waste. Many will know that […]

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Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)

Scotch broom is an invasive, evergreen shrub that was brought to North America as an ornamental garden plant. It escaped. Many of us love to garden… I do! And many of us grow some perennials that would be considered invasive. We often end up hating these plants because they take over and become a nightmare […]

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A ROSE IS A…

My property in Central Queen’s has been not-so-affectionately but fairly appropriately nick-named Invasive Acres. And while I am not directly responsible for all the unwelcome species (like the glossy buckthorns), some of them are, well, my fault. Many years ago I was thinking of getting sheep, not in themselves an invasive species. While pondering the […]

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What’s hiding in your birdseed?

A lot of the bird seed that is used to feed wild and domestic birds is contaminated with weed seeds, and is one way that invasive plants can move around. Whether the bird seed is imported or a Canadian product, it could contain seeds of invasive plants. The weed seeds may start to grow in […]

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Another forest insect pest that is found on PEI!

European or North American gypsy moth, (Lymantria dispar) Gypsy moth was introduced to Northeastern United States in the 1860’s and has since spread to several provinces including PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. It is found each year in British Columbia but has not established a permanent population yet due to lots of […]

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Emerald Ash Borer, (Agrilus planipennis) – not found on PEI yet!

Characteristics: The emerald ash borer attacks and kills all species of ash, except mountain ash which is not a true ash. With artificial spread, where people move infested ash materials and firewood to new areas, this insect can quickly spread to other areas of Canada. Federal regulatory measures prohibit the movement of specific materials including […]

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Not here yet, but knocking on the door…?

Not here yet, but knocking on the door…? Can you imagine the response if you asked an Islander whether we were in need of another source of red water in our rivers and streams? There is an invasive aquatic species that could be just that. And yet, at first glance, the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir […]

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