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Space Invaders

Jul 09, 2018

Space Invaders was an early computer game in which players would take out alien ships descending from the top of the screen.  At first they would start out slow and easy.  Over time, more would descend with a faster speed.  If you lost your pacing, they would overwhelm and then, game over.

Invasive species are like that. You may be unaware of what they are or not notice as they first appear.  But, it’s no game when these space invaders take over.  Invasive plants quickly spread through backyards and property, outcompeting desirable plants and displacing native animals.  If not caught and removed early, they become costly and hard to control.

Bush honeysuckle can turn a backyard into a jungle and spread through forests like hot lava, choking out native trees.  Callery pear trees are ornamentals that have cross-pollinated into several varieties with thorny, weak wood that splits and topples.  They are known and sold by names like Bradford, Cleveland Select, Aristocrat and others.

You can stop the invasion and join the fight by not buying them, removing them and replacing with natives.  Pull, cut and spray to remove bush honeysuckle and callery pear varieties.  Replace with serviceberry, dogwood, plum, redbud, and other native species.

Controlling the Bush Honeysuckle

  • Bush honeysuckles will invade a wide variety of natural communities with or without previous disturbances. 
  • Affected natural communities can include: lake and stream banks, marsh, fens, sedge meadow, wet and dry prairies, savannas, floodplain and upland forests and wood-lands.
  • Control measures may enlist one or more of the following techniques: prescribed burning, hand pulling of seedlings, cutting and herbicide treatments.

Discover more on controlling the bush honeysuckle.

Discover more on controlling callery pear trees.

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Invasive Bush Honeysuckle
Remove Bush Honeysuckle before it takes over your property.

Exotic Invaders

Invasive species harm the natural environment.  Learn how to deal with them in this video.
Invasive species harm the natural environment. Learn how to deal with them in this video.

Bradford pear_9.jpg

Bradford Pear Tree
Callery pear varieties can quickly take over open spaces.

Recent Posts

Photo of a gravid Mississippi grass shrimp in an aquarium.

Missouri's Freshwater Shrimp

Aug 13, 2018

Shrimp in Missouri, Who Knew?: Two types of freshwater shrimp can be found in Missouri's lakes and rivers. One is common and one is rare. The Mississippi Grass shrimp is small and transparent. The female pictured is carrying her eggs attached to swimmerets beneath her abdomen. The Ohio shrimp are larger and were harvested along the Mississippi river for food in the 1800's. They are rare today. Missouri's freshwater shrimp are important to fish and other wildlife and may live in the waters where you fish and boat. Learn more about them in this week's Discover Nature Note.

common eastern bumblebee

Pollinator Power

Aug 06, 2018

OUR NEED FOR BEES:  Without them, our produce aisles would be mostly bare. With less of them, harvest sizes will shrink and prices will soar.  Bees are essential for many of the foods we eat and nutrients we need.  Native bumblebees are intentional pollinators that do the most important work.  Learn more about bees, how you can help, and the amazing diversity we have in St. Louis in this week's Discover Nature Note. (Pictured:  Common Eastern Bumblebee)

Great Horned Owl

Theater in the WILD

Jul 30, 2018

Theater in the Wild: Some of the biggest stars have graced its stage, and swallowed our bugs while singing, but often nature and wildlife have been an inspiring and entertaining part of the show. The Muny opera took shape 100 years ago between two giant oak trees in a natural bowl in Forest Park in St. Louis. Ol' man River Des Peres which runs through it caused early trouble in river city with a flood that washed the orchestra's instruments as far away as Carondelet.

Today, the river runs behind and below the theater offering audiences a chance to view wetland species. The trees surrounding the stage are part of the design for several musicals and are looked after with care. Squirrels, possums or raccoons may appear climbing lighting grids or wandering onto the stage at any moment during a show.

Just as in nature, there are free sets to enjoy the show in the nation's largest, greenest outdoor theater in one of our country's biggest urban parks. Learn more about Forest Park and nature's show in this week's Discover Nature Note.

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