After discovering an unknown species their landlord was growing, a renter reached out to Reddit’s r/gardening forum for advice.
“What is this?” read the caption. “Landlord says it’s a plant from China and apparently you don’t get them in North America?”
The photo shows a bright green-leafed plant with multiple red stems.
Redditors confirmed that the plant was an invasive species and advised the renter to take immediate action.
“Tree of heaven,” confirmed another Redditor. “Asian plant. HIGHLY invasive here.”
“These things are an ecologist’s nightmare,” one Redditor added.
After sharing that the plant was their landlord’s “pride and joy,” the Redditor asked for suggestions on how to handle the situation.
“Get rid of them the minute you see them because they repopulate insanely well if they grow to seed,” suggested one user.
“Try your best to dig it up, roots and all,” wrote another Redditor. “It will absolutely resprout if simply cut to the ground.”
Invasive species are non-native organisms that threaten the biodiversity of a local ecosystem. These types of nonindigenous species adapt to new environments quickly, competing with local organisms for resources while rapidly reproducing.
The landlord’s tree of heaven is an invasive species originally from China that crowds local plants and releases a toxic substance into the soil.
Invasive species are not only harmful to the environment but also detrimental to the global economy. A recent international report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services estimated that the global damage from invasive species accounts for more than $400 billion a year.
Across the U.S., landlords have been caught preventing renters from implementing money-saving, eco-friendly changes. However, there are resources for revising your bylaws with your landlord to better adopt changes that can help the planet.
Redditors warned of the environmental consequences of continuing to allow such a harmful invasive plant to grow.
“They don’t just crowd out native plants, they poison the soil around themselves to get rid of any competition,” commented one user. “I had two in the yard that I was finally able to kill with plug spawn (fungus) last winter.”
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