Wildlands & Woodlands Website

Highstead works to inspire curiosity and build knowledge about plants and wooded landscapes in order to enhance life, preserve nature, and advance sound stewardship practices.


Phragmites Removal

Ecology Research > Phragmites removal

The same vegetation plot dominated by Phragmites in 2012 and filled with a diversity of native herbs in 2017.

Phragmites Removal and Monitoring

To improve the scenic viewshed and promote a more diverse, native flora around its pond, Highstead initiated a multi-year control plan to remove and prevent the reinvasion of the invasive common reed, Phragmites australis. Four herbicide application treatments were initiated in winter 2013 and repeated in subsequent years. Vegetation monitoring began in the summer of 2012 and was repeated in 2013, 2014, and 2017.
Key Results:

  • 98% of Phragmites stems were removed after 4 years
  • Diversity of woody and herbaceous plants increased over time
  • Both native and non-native plant species richness increased after removal of Phragmites
  • The vegetation community and the viewshed of the pond are arguably more appealing today than before