Discard Toxic Materials

All weak and diseased woody vegetation should be carefully pruned or completely removed depending on the type and extent of the problem. Unlike typical plant removal or “grubbing,” all parts of invasive plants including their root systems should be cleared away. Weeds in established planting areas call for removal by hand as well. In addition to identifying invasive plants and what states they are considered invasive in, this pub­lication also provides a list and description of alternative native plants. Another source of toxic materials is pressure-treated wood used in decks, fences, and other site structures before 2003. Some invasive plants such as Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) and English ivy (Hedera helix) may be a surprise because of their common usage. Additionally, it is advisable to consult a local county or university extension service, botanical garden, or horticultural expert to determine what plants are considered invasive for your par­ticular region. Polluted soil can be placed in tight, leakproof containers and taken to a local or regional collection point for toxic materials. Another excellent source is Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants, published by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Such wood usually contains chromated copper arsenate (CCA) as a preservative, a substance that is a known toxin. gov/plants/alien/index. Consult the state EPA or local health department to determine

Figure 3-10
Typical toxic materials found in a residential landscape. Plants that are in the wrong location because of improper hardiness or water requirement should also be taken out. Invasive plants are nonnative plants that aggressively take over a site at the ex­pense of other plants. Cost and other practical considerations typically make this unrealis­tic. Vegetation that is poorly located because of inappropri­ate sun exposure, soil, or drainage should be transplanted to a better location on the site if possible. nps. Heavy metals, oil, and other contaminated materials are also possible from dumping in earlier years when there was little knowledge about the potential harm of such materials. Again, improving soil conditions will also help plants grow more vigorously. All these materials need to be carefully removed from the residential site after consultation with the proper govern­ment agencies such as state EPA or municipal health offices to determine how to remove and transport such materials. Even some species of lawn grass are invasive. All invasive plants should be eliminated from a site, a task that may be more dif­ficult than expected. However, pressure-treated wood that is touched and used by children or is located where the chemicals can directly leach into wetlands, streams, or ponds should be re­placed despite costs. Locations near the back of older properties or garages should be carefully examined for the presence of such toxic substances. Remove Unsuitable Vegetation
Poor soil, incorrect maintenance practices, or simply wrong plant selections by a previous owner result in unhealthy or invasive plant materials on some residential sites. Lead is a common soil pollutant in older urban landscapes, especially near the foundation of structures where lead-based paint has chipped and fallen to the ground. This may require extra ex­cavation and handwork to do a thorough job.

Updated: 29.10.2014 — 04:47