Invasive Plant Management

The town strives to discourage the growth of non-native invasive plants, while encouraging the growth of native plants. Managing non-native invasive plants includes removal and control of existing species, and monitoring for the appearance of new species and spread of existing species.

Every year, the Parks Division and contract crews remove non-native invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed, garlic mustard, black swallow-wort, glossy buckthorn and tree of heaven from public open spaces. Control and removal techniques may include pulling, cutting or mowing plants depending on the species and location. Herbicides are used with care when necessary, and are only applied by licensed herbicide applicators.

The Parks Division also regularly works with local organizations and volunteers who offer to assist with removal of non-native invasive plants. The Parks Division routinely incorporates native plant species into new plantings and landscaping in Brookline's parks and open spaces. Certain species that were planted in the past, such as Norway maples and cork trees, are now known to be invasive and are no longer planted. Finally, the Parks Division helps to educate the public about non-native invasive plants through its outreach and educational programs.

Resolution to Reduce the Proliferation of Invasive Plant Species

In fall 2008 during a town meeting Article 28 was passed. It is a resolution to reduce the proliferation of invasive plant species. Here is the full text of the resolution:

Whereas, there exists certain plant species which are considered invasive because they starve out native species and plant material we work to maintain;

Whereas, these species are on the Massachusetts Prohibited Plant List as of January 2009 and are specifically banned from sale, propagation by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Agriculture.;

Whereas, these species growing on private property may create offspring growing in Brookline parks, conservancies, or other public property or private property;

Whereas, these species kill trees and affect the life cycle of desirable wildlife and destroy the health of wetlands;


Whereas, these species are costly to control on public land and these costs will increase over time.

Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Selectmen of the Town of Brookline acknowledge that there is a need to control invasive species in the town and that proliferation of invasive species on private property can have a direct effect on the number of such plants on public land and the cost of controlling them, and resolve to provide information to citizens on the town Website and actively encourage through other appropriate media available to them the removal of invasive species from private land, and they encourage the continued training of town workers in the recognition of and proper handling of invasive species.

Therefore, Be It Further Resolved, that the town Meeting Members of the Town of Brookline have voted in favor of this invasive species resolution.

Or act on anything relative thereto.

Additional Public Education

In addition to the information provided by the Conservation Commission on this website, the Parks and Open Space Division has created a Guide to Invasive Species in Brookline (PDF), which includes profiles for additional non-native invasive plant species currently in Brookline, or potential invasive plants. Descriptions and control methods are listed, but it is recommended that individuals and organizations research the most current control methods before attempting to remove non-native invasive plants. Certain control methods such as herbicides, burning and biological control may not be advisable or feasible, depending on the extent and location of the invasive plants.