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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Learn How to Manage Invasive Woodland Species at Farm Science Review

July 29, 2009

LONDON, Ohio – Once an invasive vegetative species takes hold in woodland areas, eradicating it is next to impossible. Ohio State University Extension forestry specialists are joining industry representatives at Farm Science Review to educate woodland owners on best land management practices to better deal with invasives.

"Invasive species are very good at getting into forest canopy openings and taking over. They force out native wildflowers, trees and shrubs, and you end up with a green understory of invasive plants that are the first to green up in the spring and the last to lose leaves in the fall," said Kathy Smith, an OSU Extension program director in forestry. "As a result, none of the native vegetation stands a chance."

The top three invasive species running rampant through Ohio's forests include bush honeysuckle, ailanthus (Tree of Heaven) and autumn olive. The Gwynne Conservation Area at Farm Science Review will be the place for land management presentations and demonstrations using extraction equipment. The demonstrations will remove bush honeysuckle on the Gwynne grounds.

"The extraction equipment helps to eradicate unwanted vegetation and uproots larger trees and shrubs, so other management techniques such as foliar sprays can be more easily conducted," said Smith. "Controlling invasive species can be a daunting task. By the time you have a green understory of unwanted vegetation, landowners throw up their arms in defeat. I mean, where do you start?"

Smith said the information being offered at Farm Science Review is intended to help landowners weigh various management options.

"Now that federal monies are being made available through EQUIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) to control invasives in woodlands, we now need to figure out how to give landowners the tools to best tackle the problem," said Smith.

Farm Science Review will be held Sept. 22-24 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources forestry specialist Steve McGinnis will lead a presentation on "Invasive Plant Species in Ohio's Woodlands" at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 22 at the Gwynne Conservation Area Woodland Amphitheatre and at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 23 at the Wildlife Amphitheatre.

There will also be invasive species extraction demonstrations at 12:30 p.m. each day at the Woodland Amphitheatre.

The Gwynne Conservation Area will host over 20 various natural resources seminars during Farm Science Review. Topics include controlling aquatic plants and algae, wetlands, bats, coping with Canada geese, muskrat management, tree identification, emerald ash borer, maple syrup, conservation tree planting, selling timber and native warm season grasses.

For a more detailed schedule, log on to and click on "schedule."

Farm Science Review is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. It attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada, who come for three days to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, and learn the latest in agricultural research, conservation, family and nutrition, and gardening and landscape.

Tickets are $8 at the gate or $5 in advance when purchased from county offices of OSU Extension or participating agribusinesses. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 22-23 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24.

For more information, log on to Farm Science Review is also on Twitter (, Facebook (, and Ning (

Candace Pollock
Kathy Smith