Blog, Lake County Nursery, landscaper

I Can’t What? Invasive? What…

Yes, it is hitting all of us, our beloved plant is now on the invasive list!  Invasive Plant Regulations is new to many states and old news to others. Let’s dive into what will be the new face of landscaping.

Each state has formed an “Invasive Plant Counsel”. Each state has formed its statement of an invasive plant. The state’s statements may be similar even if their invasive plants vary. Rules to determine what constitutes invasive plants remain the same amongst states. “Under the law, invasive plants are defined as plant species that are not native to Ohio whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health as determined by scientific studies.” (

Like most laws, we can get caught up and complain about how it is more harmful than good but that has never been my way of thinking.  We have to learn to live with it, so let’s explore some substitutes to consider when designing in an area that stops you from planting some of your favorites.

Pyrus calleryana

The beloved Flowering Pears!  How we love the white spring flowers and the upright growth habit that adapt well to urban forestry. One tree to consider would be ‘Starlite’Flowering Crab has fragrant white flowers in mid-spring that give way to showy red pomes in the fall. Starlite has an upright growth habit reaching 20-25 feet in height and 15 feet wide.

Another tree that can be a great substitute is Serviceberry!  These natives will have White flowers in the early spring and edible blue fruit in the summer. Serviceberry comes in many shapes and sizes as a tree form or naturalizing as a clump form.


Barberries come in many colorful forms, sizes, and shapes.  Many have been deemed minimally invasive in some states while other states have them banned completely.  Check with your local regulations before ruling these beauties out!

For yellow barberries utilize Deutzia Chardonnay Pearls or Vicaryi Privet.  Yes these are very different but if we are looking for color it is the closest substitute, sizing may be the biggest issue you face with looking for the overall look.

Looking for red substitutes will be a bit more challenging.  Spilled Wine Weigela, Little Devil Ninebark, and Royal Purple Smoketree will give you great color and many size options.


Burning Bush

Everyone goes crazy for the red fall color of the burning bush.  They make for a great hedge and are easily maintained.  Henry’s Garnet Sweetspire will give you a brilliant red fall color and sport a graceful fragrant white flower in June. Are you looking to attract songbirds to your yard? Then you might want to think about using Blueberry bushes! Fragrant white flowers, edible blue or pink tasty fruit will give way to a brilliant display of red foliage.

In Conclusion

With a little creativity and working with your grower you can come up with substitutes that will keep your clients happy, the environment healthy and the landscape beautiful.  Don’t be afraid to contact Lake County Nursery to learn what great plants we can offer you for your future projects.  We are full of ideas to make you sparkle!


State invasive plant species laws can be found at the following links:
  • Ohio:
  • Indiana:
  • Illinois:
  • Michigan:
  • New York:
  • Pennsylvania:

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