Have you ever wondered what tree species are native to our Buffalo, NY region and which are invasive? Maybe you’ve just now wondered “what, there are invasive trees? How? I thought they were good!?” While it is true that trees are good, there are indeed some invasive species in the area. Our expert arborists at Bradley Trees know which from which, how to remove those pesky invaders, and will be glad to assist you in that removal.
Are Invasive Trees really a concern?
Invasive species depress the biodiversity of the area, oftentimes outcompeting and starving off their native counterparts. Think about it, a particular tree may have undergone millions of years of evolution to thrive on little water content. If someone brings it to Buffalo all of a sudden it has all the water it needs to sprout, grow and spread. Or just generally, trees are tall and invasive species cut off sunlight access to ground-level plants.
Native plants have evolved to coexist in the environment, while invasive plants hijack the ecosystem and take over. It will encroach on land and overshadow its local counterparts, suffocating them to the endangered species list in a worst-case scenario.
What trees are native to Buffalo, NY?
There’s a variety of native tree species in the region; we have woodland trees, like the Red Maple, Tulip Trees, American Basswoods, Horphornbeams, and American Beech. Then there are the more wetlands trees that prefer moist soil like the Paw Paw, River Birch, American Larch, Swamp White Oak, Pin Oak, and Arborvitae.
There are others too, like the American Hornbeam and Eastern Redbud that can grow both in woodlands and in wetter areas like stream banks, Hackberries which are found in floodplains and open woods, Flowering Dogwoods which are beautiful flowering trees, and of course the trees that love the mountains like Eastern White Pines and Eastern Hemlocks.
What are invasive trees? Why should it matter?
In Western New York, we have seen many local plant species die off or be reduced to a fraction of their previous coverage at least in part because of these invasive pests. There’s the Common Buckthorn, a small tree species that rapidly grows and creates a monoculture, out-competing native plants and potentially altering soil pH.
There’s also European Black Alders, a large tree species that can grow densely and rapidly, displacing and shading out local ground-level plants, and can occupy poor soil conditions ensuring nothing else will grow there.
Last but not least is the so-called Tree of Heaven, a tall-growing tree whose leaves release a disturbing smell when crushed, has sap that can cause allergic reactions and even heart problems from prolonged exposure, and its complex root system can and does cause damage to underground infrastructure and building foundations.
Let us help you!
Having a true arborist help you with these decisions may not seem like a necessity, but there are a lot of factors to consider. You can count on new blogs coming out each month to help educate the WNY community on all things only an arborist would know, but it’s always best to get in touch with a professional to take a look. For any questions for our Buffalo certified arborists, please reach out via our contact form or give us a call at 716.916.2193