What is an invasive species?

An invasive species is an introduced organism that can negatively alters its new environment (Wikipedia).

  • Many invasive plants (nonnative / exotic) have been introduced from other parts of the world and can cause a negative impact on people, animals, and our ecosystem here in Country Woods. These plants can grow very aggressively and can take over our natural areas of slower growing native plants and trees, that our birds, bees, and other animals depend on for sustenance and shelter. Most of us have an invasive plant of some kind in our gardens and yards.


Invasive plants:

  • compete for sun and water, potentially shading and starving our native vegetation.
  • can weaken soil stability and alter movement of wind and water.
  • can bring an increase in pests and plant diseases.
  • increase time and cost for removal or maintenance to control them and to restore the natural habitat in our Park.
  • are not choosy where they grow, be it moist or dry, sun or shade, creeping up on neighboring trees or blazingly growing through other plants in their path!

Examples of invasive plants:

  • English Ivy, can grow up to 14 feet in one year! Ivy is called “the silent killer of trees”, the weight and density of an invasion of ivy can topple a mature tree! English Ivy uses the tree only as an anchor and can make a great ground cover if it is “controlled”! Flowers attract many bees and flies and rats, that hide under the ivy.  Berries are mildly toxic to humans. Leaves can cause dermatitis on our skin.
  • Policemen’s Helmet, (Impatience family) can project its seeds up to 23 feet with help of the wind! They sprout where they land! (not in CW)
  • Laurel hedges grow very fast and are evergreen. Flowers attract insects. The Black shiny Berries are toxic to humans and dogs! (Keep children away!) The leaves produce cyanide when cut or trimmed, it would be advised to wear a mask ! Birds will disperse these seeds all over our park!
  • Holly can be a stately tree with its beautiful berries that attract birds and branches are used in our winter décor. The berries are toxic to humans and dogs and cats and can cause vomiting and diarrhea! A holly tree can grow up to 50 feet tall!!!! The flowers of the male (!) produces pollen which fertilizes any female tree within a 100 feet or more !

Do not let invasive species escape from your garden!! Properly dispose of trimmings and plants and garden waste in the City provided, green bins.

Bits of ivy/lamium and or holly will root at first rain on our forest soil. Please avoid accidental planting these invasive plants in our park or our trails! According to the City of Surrey’s website it is against the by-law!

Not all exotic plants are invasive, but most invasive plants are exotic!!!

Here are some  invasive plant species found in Country Woods:

English Holly                     tree (Ilex Aquifolium)

English Ivy                         ground cover, climber (Hedera helix)

Cherry Laurel                    hedge, tree like (prunus laurocerasus)

Periwinkle                          ground cover (Vinca minor)

Lamium                             ground cover (lamium galeoobdolon)

Himalayan Blackberry   vining shrub (rubus Armeniacus)