FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2022
Contact: John Scott
Parks and Recreation
2022 invasive plant ‘bounty’ to be held April 5-15
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — This spring, the City of Fayetteville will hold its fourth annual invasive plant “bounty” program, in which the City replaces residents’ invasive plants with a native tree or shrub – for free.
Each year, Urban Forestry staff adds one additional invasive plant to the program’s bounty list and spotlights invasive plant species issues. The program began with Bradford pear trees (Pyrus calleryana), later adding bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) and Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense). This year, tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is being included.
To increase awareness and discourage the spread of these invasive plants, the City has posted a bounty on these plants with a reward of one native tree or shrub. The City will give away one native tree or native shrub to each person that removes Bradford pear trees, bush honeysuckle, tree of heaven or Chinese privet on their property within city limits.
To qualify, residents are asked to take a picture of their cut-down invasive tree or shrubs and email a picture of the removed plant to email@example.com. Include your name, address and phone number. The limit is one tree or shrub per household while supplies last. Trees will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please note that the City cannot cut down your tree or shrubs; property owners should cut their tree or shrub or hire a company.
Native tree and shrub species may then be picked up 3-5 p.m. weekdays between April 5 and 15 at the Parks Department Office, 1455 S. Happy Hollow Road. (After-hour arrangements can be made.) Native tree and shrub species to be given away will be announced closer to the pickup period.
Invasive species threaten habitat and native species by outcompeting native plants for critical resources. They spread quickly and choke out native trees, shrubs and flowers. Invasive plants usually have vigorous growth, reseed prolifically, displace natives, negatively alter forest environments and prevent natural habitat regeneration.
Urban Forestry staff stress “Right Tree, Right Place.” Trees can take many years to reach their mature height and spread. Residents should always contact Arkansas One Call at 811 or 800-482-8998 before digging.
To learn more about invasive species when choosing plants and watch a video of proper honeysuckle identification and removal, visit https://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/3028/Invasive-Plants-and-Native-Alternatives. (The same techniques for removing bush honeysuckle can be used to remove Chinese privet.)
For more information, contact John Scott, urban forester for the Parks Department, at 479-444-3470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.