The Japanese maple is not listed as an invasive in Connecticut. However, I have seen many garden escapees on walks, and I have spied it along the brush-and-tree border between my neighbors’ property and mine. My mentor, a Master Gardener who specializes in identifying and removing invasives, believes they have become invasive. I believe that they are poised to become invasive as climate change occurs.
Here’s that funny photo with me making faces again, where you only see part of the JM.
Why should I, or you, care?
Simply, the Japanese maple does not support our native pollinators, bird life, nor does it feed any mammals, reptiles, or amphibians. When native plants are displaced by nonnatives who do not provide the necessary fuel for our ecosystem, we lose out on ecosystem services. We lose out on the heritage of native forests.
Japanese maples are beautiful. I won’t deny that. Yet, I think I can add interest and beauty to the garden without risking the ecosystem services I have come to cherish.
So, here are my victorious photos of the Japanese Maple Takedown:
They came back and cut the stump. The next thing that happened was I planted a sweet little serviceberry.
Here’s a link to further discussion on the potential for Japanese maples to invade: