Skip to Main Content

Gardening in the North Country and Local Food Sources: Invasive Species

Do you want to grow your own food, or find locally grown food in our northern New York region? Or do you want to beautify your landscape or help the environment? We have resources for you!

Did You Know?

Giant HogweedGiant Hogweed Plant
Invasive plants come in all shapes and sizes. Some are pretty, and some are dangerous! Giant hogweed in one such dangerous plant that exists in our area. According the the Department of Environmental Conservation, "Its sap, in combination with moisture and sunlight, can cause severe skin and eye irritation, painful blistering, permanent scarring and blindness. Contact between the skin and the sap of this plant occurs either through brushing against the bristles on the stem or breaking the stem or leaves."  If you see (or touch) this plant, visit the DEC page to see what you should do:
Another, more common plant which can cause painful skin irritation is the wild parsnip. This plant is quite widespread along roadsides in some areas, especially along fields and pastures. The sap of this plant causes blistering of the skin when exposed to sunlight, and the painful skin irritation can last for several years. Be sure to wear long pants and closed shoes when walking along roadsides where this plant grows!
Wild parsnip

New York Invasives Video from


Subject Guide

How You Can Help

Know how to recognize the invasive species, and don't introduce them into your garden!  Check out this useful pictorial guide to New York State Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Plants


If you are an angler or boater:

  • Be sure to clean all plant material and mud from your watercraft and gear before leaving the boat launch and dispose of them in an aquatic invasive species disposal station if one is available.
  • Drain all water holding compartments, including the livewell, bilge, and bait buckets before traveling to a new body of water.
  • Never dump unused bait!

If you are an aquarium owner or water gardener:

If you are a gardener or landscaper:

  • Verify that the plants you are purchasing for your garden or property are not invasive - regulated invasive plants must be tagged!
  • Educate friends and neighbors about the importance of gardening/landscaping with native plants.

If you are a hiker, hunter or camper:

  • Don't move firewood, and be aware of firewood regulations in your area. Moving firewood can contribute to the spread of forest pests.
  • Clean your boots and clothing at the trailhead before heading home. Seeds from invasive trailside plants often stick to clothing and get stuck in boot treads.