The Loss of Native Plants in Pennsylvania
Native plants in Pennsylvania are being lost to habitat destruction, invasive plants, and introduced pests and diseases. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, there are over 2,100 native plant species known in Pennsylvania. Native plants are those which occurred within the state before settlement by Europeans. These include ferns, grasses, flowering perennials, annuals, woody trees, shrubs, and vines which covered "Penns's Woods" when the first settlers arrived.
An invasive plant is a species that has become a weed pest. One that grows aggressively, spreads, and displaces other plants. Although some native plants are aggressive on disturbed areas, most invasive plants are introduced from other continents, leaving behind pests, diseases, predators, and other natural controls.
According to the PA DCNR, habitat destruction, invasive plants, and introduced pests and diseases have resulted in the elimination of 5 percent of Pennsylvania native plant species and another 25 percent are in danger of becoming so. Action can be taken to protect and enhance the remaining diversity of beautiful and often useful native plant species.
On Thursday, April 8th, at 6:30 pm, the Cumberland Woodland Owners' Association is sponsoring a "Native Plants" tour at Spring Haven Nurseries which is located at 1362 Mountain Road in Newburg. Spring Haven Nurseries (http://springhavennatives.com/) specializes in native woodland plants and shade perennials grown either in propagation beds or in the gardens located there. Nursery owners, Dave and Dianne Cornman, will lead the tour and explain how to protect native plant communities and how to practice responsible landscaping. The tour is open to the public. You do not have to be a member and there is no cost to attend.
The Cumberland Woodland Owners Association (CWOA) is an organization of private forestland owners and others interested in forestry issues in south central Pennsylvania. The mission of the association is to provide information, education and an exchange of ideas to its members and others about the methods and benefits of proper forest management. For more information about the Cumberland Woodland Owners Association and the April 8th meeting, contact Fred Peabody at 717/776-3565 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).