Outlawed Invasive Plants and Native Alternatives!

Morristown Shade Tree Commission encourages the use of plants that will support our birds and pollinators and discourages plants that escape our yards and invade our woods. This is to stay in compliance with the Morristown Invasive Species Ordinance 13-126. https://www.ecode360.com/35859558  

For our purposes, we can condense the USDA definition of "Invasive Species" to: Plants that are non-native to our ecosystem whose introduction causesenvironmental harm.  When native plants are crowded out by non-native plants, insects and birds are left without the food resources that they have evolved to depend on and their populations decline.   

The good news is that there are many beautiful native alternatives that provide for our pollinators and birds.


Japanese Barberry is spread by birds into our woods where it outcompetes native plants. Its presence is proven to increase our chances of being bitten by a tick carrying Lyme disease. 

Alternatives to Barberry

1. Ninebark 

2. Fragrant Sumac

3. Winterberry Holly 

4. Inkberry Holly


Burning Bush is also spread by birds into our forests where it behaves like Barberry and crowds out native plants. 

Alternatives to Burning Bush: 

1. Highbush Blueberry 

2. Winged Sumac and Smooth Sumac

3. Red Chokeberry 



Bamboo spreads aggressively and will deprive surrounding plants of nutrients and light. Once established, it is extremely difficult to eradicate.

Alternatives to Bamboo: 

1. Eastern Red Cedar 

2. Arborvitae

3. Indian Grass

Thank you for considering plants that support our wildlife!