Kermit the Frog might argue the point, but it is easy being green if you one of the evergreen, non-native, invasive shrubs or vines. These plants seize every opportunity to sprout and grow in urban soils that have been disturbed and aggressively replace our native species. The invasive vines are especially destructive since they cover other plants and can climb trees.
These plants appear in your yard, the alley behind your house or your favorite park primarily because birds eat the fruit and then spread the seed, but please don’t get the idea that we should allow them to grow for feeding the birds! Birds need much more than the fruit from just a few species. They also need caterpillars which non-native plants do not support. (Yes, we do need caterpillars chomping on our leaves if we are to have birds!) Read more about native plants and diversity here: To Feed the Birds, First Feed the Bugs.
It’s easy to spot these green plants now in our dormant landscapes, especially the English ivy on trees all over town. Take a look around your yard to see if you have any of the plants below. If so, please begin to take steps to remove them. Your actions will have benefits that reach far beyond your yard and far into the future.
While you’re working please do preserve our evergreen native species – American holly, eastern red cedar, partridge berry (if your lucky enough to find some) and others. Our native species, when present in variety and abundance, will support a complex ecosystem which will in turn support us.