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​Invasive Plants

An invasive species is a non-native organism introduced by human activity that has no natural checks and balances and that aggressively out-competes native organisms for living space on the landscape.

The spread of these plants, animals and microorganisms cause harm to the ecosystem, economy, society, and potentially human health.

Invasive species impact the biodiversity of our landscape and can heavily impair existing plant and animal communities. They can be difficult and expensive to remove, and often invasive species can never be completely eradicated. That is why it is critical to properly identify new introductions and be on the lookout for new invasive species before they get established.

How they Spread

Pathways is the term used to describe entry points and methods of how invasive species are introduced into new areas. Natural pathways include wind, water movement and animal dispersal. Man-made pathways are how most invasive species are spread in our City parks, trails, and natural areas:

  • Spreading seeds from one trail to another by your boots, animal paws or wheels. 
  • Straying-off of marked trails and pathways in woodlots. 
  • Dumping plant waste into our natural areas and forests. 
  • Planting invasive species into gardens or natural landscape. 
  • Moving firewood from one location to another.

Please avoid the above activities to help control the spread of invasive plants and insects.

How to Report a Sighting

If you think that you have spotted an invasive species, take a couple of pictures. If it’s found on City property please contact Service Barrie at (705) 726-4242 or In order to develop partnerships and funding strategies to control invasive species, as outlined in the City's Climate Change Adaption Strategy, ​reporting the location and species helps develop an abundance map, prioritize future partnership and volunteer activities, and create a future Invasive Species strategy with associated resources to address.​​

If you have it on your own property, please report on EDDMaps Ontario.

What to Look For

The top five invasive terrestrial plant species to be on the lookout for in Barrie:

Dog Strangling Vine
(Vincetoxicum rossicum)
​Garlic Mustard
(Alliaria petiolata)

Giant Hogweed
(Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Can be harmful for humans. DO NOT TOUCH.

​Japanese Knotweed
(Fallopia japonica)

(Phragmites australis subsp. australis)

Photos sourced from (brochures re best management practices in Ontario).

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