One prominent invasive species is the Japanese Knotweed. This plant is native to Asia and was introduced into the U.S. during the 1800s. Knotweed currently grows abundantly all along the Lackawanna River.
See the Q & A section below for removal tips!
The Spotted Lanternfly is a planthopper native to Southeast Asia and is currently making its way up to Scranton and the rest of our Watershed from southeast Pennsylvania. These exotic insects threaten agricultural commodities, which in turn can have a major impact on local economies. If you see this invasive species, please report the sighting to Penn State Extension
Photo & more info here
This beetle is native to regions in China, but has made its way into the Lackawanna River Watershed. This invasive species is harmful to our Ash trees because the larvae bore into the ash tree and feed under the bark. The feeding hinders the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients causing the tree to die.
Photo & more info here.
Phragmites is the genus of four species of large perennial grasses found in wetlands. Also known as common reed, these invasive species are aggressive perennial grasses that take over wetlands and out-compete native plants and displaces native animals.
Photo by Chesapeake Bay Program - Learn more Phragmite info here
This invasive species was promoted as an urban shade/street tree in early 20th century. It does not get along well with Native species because it adds toxins to the soil with root tannin & these trees form in monocultures cluster and make dense shade making competition for light difficult for other species.
Photo & more info here
Also known as "Tree of Heaven", this invasive tree is from Northern China and is very common in urban America, including Scranton. When it is young, it can be confused with our native Sumac. It grows to be a large canopy tree 50 to 75 feet tall. A prolific seed producer, it also forms mono-cultural stands. It has a very smelly sap and its wood is useless for any uses. It is a common host to the spotted lantern fly!
Photo & Learn more here
A species is considered invasive when it is removed from its original habitat range to a new area where it then lacks predators. Invasive species are usually harmful and disruptive to the environment, the economy, or human health.
Invasive plants can take over habitats and force native species out due to fast reproduction in the Springtime. Invasive plants can also reduce native wildlife habitat which affects the food chain and can disrupt pollination in habitats. Invasive species can also lead to soil erosion, changes in water and nutrient availability. As you can see, there can be many ecological impacts!