Meck Co. Park and Rec warns of invasive species killing trees

by: Stephanie Coueignoux Updated:


MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. - Invasive species are a growing problem in Mecklenburg County.

Channel 9 has learned trees are now dying in the Freedom Park neighborhood.

English ivy is one of dozens of invasive species now spreading across Mecklenburg County and killing local vegetation.

It’s gotten to be such an issue, residents in the Freedom Park neighborhood have used clippers and saws to try and kill the ivy.

“That's probably the biggest problem- getting every last one of them. It's nearly impossible to eradicate,” said Gary Marshall with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation.

To prevent more spreading, county officials have established a “no purchase policy.” Any contractor or anyone buying plants with county money cannot buy any plant on the invasive species list.

The issue is residents still can. It is legal for garden centers to sell invasive species. Many people may not even realize what they’re buying.

 “There's not going to be a sign on it that says ‘Caution: this is an invasive species, don't buy it,’” Marshall said.

Crews spent hours cutting and treating these plants with herbicide.

Channel 9 asked how much this is costing the county. Officials said they don't have an overall number, but the Natural Resources Department alone spends more than $20,000 a year.

Officials are asking residents to pull out any invasive species from their yards.

For more information of what invasive species look like, click here.