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Invasive species in Dobbs Park

The Asian Honeysuckle is an invasive species that's trying to take over at Dobbs park.

Posted: Aug 8, 2018 6:56 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It may look like just another plant to you, but this is an invasive species that are trying to take over our parks.

"But it grows so thickly. It grows aggressively in almost every dimension you can imagine."

Meet Jane Morse. She's a volunteer coordinator for Trees Inc. here in Terre Haute, but she also spends a lot of her time helping out at Dobbs Park.

That's because of a plant called the Asian Honeysuckle.

"It's harmful to our environment, and therefore harmful to humans. All the animals depend on the native plants. This is killing the native plants."

This plant has been around for a long time, but its made its way into Dobbs Park.

Now, it's trying to take over, harming our environment and the animals that live there.

"It consumes more of the nutrients in the soil than our native plants do, it starts growing about three of four weeks earlier in the spring than our native plants grow."

So what does it look like?

Morse says the leaves are oval shaped with a point at the end, and the branches have a very specific shape.

"It has an arching branching system. It's almost like a bunch of flowers that are sitting in a vase on the ground and splaying out."

Morse says the plant can grow anywhere, so if you have it at your home, there is an easy way to get rid of it, if you catch it early.

"It is a shallow rooted plant, so there are pulling tools that you can use to pull it out of the ground without using any chemicals."

By keeping on top of this, you can help make the Wabash Valley a more beautiful place to live.

If you would like to help the people at Dobbs Park get rid of some of this Asian Honeysuckle, talk to the naturalist at the park, Carissa Lovett, or any other staff. You can call the nature center at 812-877-1095.

They accept volunteers 6th grade and older.

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