Exotic & Invasive Plant Management

The control of invasive/exotic plants is crucial for the success of any natural ecosystem. Without proper management these plants can spread across disturbed sites quickly as they often possess physical, chemical, and even genetic traits that allow them to out compete native plant species. The staff of Heartland Restoration Services is trained to identify exotic and invasive plant species as well as develop and implement adaptive management plans designed to control and eliminate them.

Heartland Restoration Services offers the following services to restore and manage native ecosystems:

1. Prescribed Burning:

Controlled burns can be an effective tool of restoring and managing native ecosystems. Heartland Restoration Services has a fully trained and experienced staff that can prepare burn plans, obtain required variances, ignite, and suppress any burn.

2. Selective Herbicide Treatments:

When prescribed burns and/or mowing methods cannot be used effectively, herbicide applications are often required to control exotic/invasive plant species. Heartland Restoration Services holds a Commercial Pesticide Business License and has fully licensed and experienced pesticide applicators on staff to provide treatments in the state of Indiana.

Heartland Restoration Services goal for any herbicide treatment is to maximize the control of the target species, while minimizing any potential adverse effects to the environment and it’s applicators.  To attain this goal, Heartland Restoration Services always:

  1. Uses a selective chemical, if possible, to reduce off-target damage.
  2. Follows the recommended label rate.
  3. Uses the correct application technique to reduce off-target damage.
  4. Performs the application when the target species is most susceptible to herbicide intake.
  5. Wears the proper protective equipment.
  6. Properly documents and records all applications.
  7. Keeps continuing education up to date.

Heartland frequently utilizes the following techniques for herbaceous vegetation management:

  1. Broadcast application
  2. Spot herbicide application
  3. Wick application

3. Invasive/Exotic Shrub Control:

Invasive/exotic shrubs and trees shade and out-compete native understory vegetation. To eliminate these species Heartland Restoration Services uses many of the following methodologies of control:

  • Cut stump treatments
  • Basal bark treatments
  • Girdling/Frilling
  • Foliar herbicide treatments
  • Hack and squirt
  • Forestry mowing

Most of these techniques are best used in combination with selective herbicide treatments.

4. Mowing:

Mowing is a tool that can be utilized within the first few years of a native seeding as well as periodically long-term. Mowing intermittently during the first 1-5 years of a new native seeding helps to control annual and biennial weed competition, which in turn increases the rate of native seed germination and stimulates healthier growth due to less competition. It also can be utilized to effectively supress young trees and shrubs as they try to invade established plantings, thus providing a benefit similar to a controlled burn.