Three Reasons to Get Rid of Exotic Nandina Domestica Shrubs
1. To Protect Cedar Waxwing Birds from Cyanide Poisoning:
The primary reason to get rid of the exotic Nandina domestica shrub is to protect Cedar Waxwing birds, particularly in Georgia. The fruits of the Nandina domestica contain cyanide and other alkaloids. While in small quantities, most birds are not harmed, there have been reported incidents of Cedar Waxwings dying after ingesting large quantities of these fruits. The advisement to remove the shrubs is a preventive measure to avoid poisoning, as these birds have a tendency to gorge on abundant fruits, putting them at risk.
2. Invasive Species Threat and Wildlife Spread:
Nandina domestica is tracked as an invasive species in Georgia. The plant has the capability to create new populations through spread by wildlife. The aggressive growth and wildlife dispersal result in numerous seedlings emerging each year. The unchecked proliferation of Nandina domestica poses a threat to the local ecosystem by outcompeting native vegetation and disrupting the balance. By removing or avoiding the planting of this invasive species, individuals contribute to preventing the further spread and impact on the local environment.
3. Supporting Ecosystem and Native Plants:
Opting for regionally native plants instead of Nandina domestica contributes positively to the ecosystem. Native plants are better adapted to the local environment, providing essential resources for local wildlife. Even if a native plant does not produce fruits like Nandina domestica, it still plays a crucial role in supporting biodiversity. Choosing native plants promotes a healthier and more balanced ecosystem, ensuring that local wildlife, including birds, have access to suitable habitats and resources. This approach aligns with ecological principles and helps maintain the overall well-being of the environment.
In conclusion, the three reasons to get rid of or avoid planting Nandina domestica in your garden are centered around protecting bird species, preventing the spread of an invasive species, and promoting the health of the local ecosystem through the use of regionally native plants.