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 woodlands. It is becoming a major problem in the State of Missouri and is spreading rapidly. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is serious about getting honeysuckle under control.
Bush honeysuckle leaves appear early in the spring and remain late into fall, giving them a competitive advantage over native plants. They form a thick understory that limits sunlight to native plants inhibiting seedling establishment and forest regeneration. They also compete for soil moisture, nutrients, and may produce a chemical that inhibits native plant growth. All species of honeysuckle also spread from the roots, resulting in the ability to further dominate an area. Bush honeysuckles compete with native plants for pollinators, resulting in fewer seeds set on native species. Unlike native shrubs, the fruits of exotic bush honeysuckles are carbohydrate rich and do not provide migrating birds with the high-fat content needed for long flights
Native Landscape Solutions, Inc. has been providing non-native invasive plant control to MDC for quite a few years now. We have sprayed 100 acres at MDC’s beautiful Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center with excellent results. We will be at it again soon to control new growth, spraying approximately 75 acres. As the large swaths of honeysuckle are controlled, it allows more light and moisture for the native plants. We are doing our part to help native plants thrive.