One of the more noxious invasive plants that has been spreading across NJ is Mile-a-Minute. It's a prickly vine that, though an annual that must grow back from seed each spring, grows so fast that it can cover large areas of roadsides and field edges. Over the past several years, I've been knocking out small infestations at the Princeton Battlefield and near Rogers Refuge, but this year I'm finding new patches springing up around town.
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Mile-a-Minute Spreading into Princeton
Further down the road is a series of trees damaged, perhaps by a small tornado or similar localized intense winds as the remains of Hurricane Ida came through on Sept. 1. Similar damage to trees was seen in Princeton Battlefield, where a row of mature white pines along the edge of the field was decapitated.
What we're seeing is the increasing impact of plants out of place (species that turn invasive after being introduced from other continents) and carbon out of place (carbon fuels extracted from underground that we burn, thereby releasing additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere). Our machines have increased global warming CO2 by a whopping 50% over pre-industrial levels thus far. This year has felt like a radicalization of both invasive species and climate change.