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Ask a Ranger: Invasive Plant Species

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6101 Cole Mill Road
Durham, NC 27705




GPS: 36.078300, -79.005000


Few's Ford Access
May-September: 7am - 10pm
March, April, and October: 7am - 9pm
November: 7am - 8pm
December, January and February: 7am - 7pm

Cole Mill Access
May-September: 7:30am - 9:30pm
March, April, and October: 7:30am - 8:30pm
November: 7:30am - 7:30pm
December January and February: 7:30am -6:30pm

Pleasant Green and Cabelands Accesses
May-September: 8:30am - 8:30pm
March, April, and October: 8:30am - 7:30pm
November: 8:30am - 6:30pm
December January and February: 8:30am - 5:30pm

Park Office Hours
Monday-Thursday, 8am-5pm 
Friday, 8am - 8pm 
Saturday, Sunday, 9am-5:00pm 

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm
Saturday, Sunday, 9am-5:00pm

Fews Ford at Eno River State Park

Ask a Ranger: Invasive Plant Species

Click the player above to listen to the episode. Read the article below to learn more about invasive plant species.


What are Invasive Plants and How Do You Manage Them in North Carolina State Parks? 

Invasive plants are more common that one might imagine. As discussed in the “Ask a Ranger” podcast, invasive plants are introduced deliberately and accidentally — birds efficiently carry seeds to new areas, for example. The plants that I have dealt with the most in my time with N.C. State Parks are Chinese wisteria and Chinese privet. In the upcoming year, my plans for Eno River State Park will expand to include parrotfeather (an aquatic invasive plant), tree-of-heaven, multiflora rose, bamboo and kudzu.


Kudzu with flower

Left: Kudzu, J. Mickey, Stone Mountain State Park
Right: Kudzu with flower, courtesy of K. Radewicz

Chinese wisteria and Chinese privet

Left: Chinese wisteria with flower, courtesy of K. Radewicz
Right: Chinese privet with fruit, courtesy of K. Radewicz


The plan for invasive species eradication from an area is plant- and time-of-year-specific. At the very end of winter, one could apply the correct pesticide mixed with a penetrating oil and red dye to some trees or shrubs, but not others. Foliar applications of pesticide (sprayed on the leaves) usually occur only in the summer months but can be the treatment plan year-round for some species such as thorny olive. Some pesticides are restricted and can’t be purchased at any of the big box stores. Always read the label of the pesticide!
Please see the links below to learn more about invasive plant species and the native plant alternatives!
How to create native gardens, manage invasive species, and choose native alternatives
Information from N.C. State University in cooperation with North Carolina Forest Service.
Gardening in the Southeast, programming and education through the N.C. Botanical Garden
This link discusses gardening here in the Southeast as compiled by the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Further exploration of the site takes the visitor to information on educational programs offered at the NCBG, its various gardens and natural areas, and the NCBG’s own exhibits.


About the Ask a Ranger Podcast

Ranger Crystal and Ranger Jess host the North Carolina State Parks Ask a Ranger Podcast series. Their guest this episode is Ranger Kim Radewicz from Eno River State Park. She also wrote this accompanying article.

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