We only have a few acres but it's enough to have dozens of plants show up each spring that make us ask ourselves whether they are friend or foe.
The birds plant some things we want to keep but many others are unknown or unwelcome. Here's an incredible online resource with lists and 20 links to sites that will help identify uninvited guests http://www.namethatplant.net/aliens.shtml
Some known plants are just plain pests to us because they are too much of a wild thing. Millions of elm trees and several square miles of wild daisies, henbit, thistle, Wandering Jew, wild garlic - oh, the list goes on.
"How to Eradicate Invasive Plants" by Teri Chace should be on the shelf of libraries, master gardener offices and in gardeners homes - it will go a long way toward speeding up the decision making process every spring.
Online booksellers offer it for $14. From the publisher, Timber Press, it is $25.
The author's bio from the Timber Press website -"Teri Dunn Chace is a writer and editor with more than 30 consumer titles in publication, including The Anxious Gardener's Book of Answers. She's also written and edited extensively for Horticulture, North American Gardener, Backyard Living, and Birds & Blooms. She has been managing editor for a variety of gardening titles, among them Gardening Basics for Dummies, The New England Gardener's Resource Guide, The Texas Gardener's Resource Guide, Lewis Hill's celebrated Pruning Made Easy and his Lawn & Gardener's Owner's Manual, and The Weather-Resilient Garden. Raised in California and educated at Bard College in New York, Teri has gardened in a variety of climate zones and soil types, from inner-city Portland, Oregon, to coastal Massachusetts. She now lives in a small upstate New York village with snowy winters and glorious summers."
Not all the plants Chace identifies as weeds are considered problems by us because we have enough space to tolerate their presence and we actually value their contribution. One example is Hawthorn which we grow for winter bird food. Another is a patch of Staghorn Sumac that we have hidden behind shrubs because insects and birds love them.
With that said, Chace provides photos, descriptions, chemical and non-chemical eradication methods.