The Most Common Invasive Species of Trees in Tennessee

Invasive trees cause endless problems in Tennessee. Effective tree infestation identification is crucial in addressing these issues before invasive trees harm the ecosystem. At the very least, it helps if you can identify these problems so that you can address them before the invasive trees harm the ecosystem.   

As tree removal experts in Knoxville, Pro Tree of Knoxville has plenty of experience with invasive trees. This post highlights some of the most common invasive species of trees that cause problems in Tennessee and the surrounding areas.   

invasive species of trees

Bush Honeysuckle

These deciduous shrubs feature long arching branches and shallow root systems. They were first introduced to the United States from Asia and Europe in the 1800s, and today they’re everywhere in Tennessee. 

These shrubs thrive in full sunlight but can tolerate moderate shade. They often form dense thickets that allow them to shade out your more desirable native plant species.   

Japanese Honeysuckle

As a native species to Japan and Korea, Japanese honeysuckle is a fast-growing vine with fragrant white or yellow flowers during the spring and summer. It takes over quickly, growing and twisting up small trees and limbs by wrapping around them tightly and suffocating the host plant. The vine’s dense growth can also block sunlight, further limiting the survival of other plant species nearby.

Japanese Privet   

The Japanese privet mimics the Japanese honeysuckle, often dominating native host plants with dense growth and sunlight restriction. These invasive species of trees feature dark, smooth-edged leaves. Their rapid reproduction rates make them hard to control.   

Japanese Stiltgrass   

As an invasive grass that grows to about 3.5 ft, Japanese stiltgrass typically shades out other native ground covers. It thrives in low light and moist to dry conditions. By disrupting the understory habitat, Japanese stiltgrass trees also provide an excellent habitat for predators like snakes, which affects native ground-nesting birds.

Tree of Heaven   

This rapidly growing deciduous tree arrived from Asia in the late 1700s as an urban shade and ornamental tree. Its thick canopy makes it a great source of shade. However, its uncanny ability to prevent other plants from establishing themselves nearby makes it one of the most invasive species of trees in Tennessee.

Mimosa/Persian Silk Tree   

Like the Tree of Heaven, the mimosa or Persian silk tree came to the United States in the 18th century as an ornamental tree. It’s undeniably attractive, featuring a crown of leaves resembling a fern. Its pink feathery flowers bloom in early summer.   

Mimosa is so challenging to control because it easily grows back from leftover rootstock. It grows vigorously while displacing native trees and shrubs.   

Trust Your Local Tree Service for Help   

Whether you need a tree care expert to look at your dying tree or someone to clean up your landscape, trust Pro Tree of Knoxville. Our clients count on us for top-notch tree services, such as:   

  • Tree trimming and pruning   
  • Tree removal   
  • Tree fertilization and healthcare 
  • Emergency tree services   

Call Pro Tree of Knoxville at (865) 294-0062 today to request a free quote for tree services. We’re also happy to share more information about Tennessee’s invasive species of trees in your yard and when to remove a tree if it comes to that.

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