Oh no, all my trees are bad monstrous invasives!

Came across my socials feed this morn; permaculture group newbie getting more & more alarmed as she finds out that the trees and shrubs around the home she’s just purchased are invasive (or as someone else said, “monstrous”).

My response:

A reassuring note: Remember that in permaculture, even a species we humans don’t see as “desirable,” does have value and serves a function in the ecosystem. (Second ethic of permaculture design: Care of people and all other species.)

If nothing else, right now for you these mature trees are providing shade (essential in Florida of course!) and maybe privacy buffer; noise buffer around your house. Of course, planting natives is great and you can always add in natives and edibles (and, if you choose, cut back or remove the nonnatives) as your time and budget permits!

Also in permaculture, sometimes we find that “invasives” are edible or have some other good use such as building materials. In one place where i lived, I built a little outdoor shower-stall using branches cut from an “invasive” tree. Also its fuzzy leaves were useful for various applications such as TP for the compost toilet.

Sometimes, the permaculture movement doesn’t necessarily totally overlap the native-plants movement. Although many of us are endeavoring to support & promote the spread of native plants, most of us are also into learning about plants that provide food, fuel, fiber, building materials, etc. Some of the most useful and beneficial plants growing right around us are not necessarily natives.

So what might those nuts be useful for? What unique properties do they have? What might the branches, leaves, etc be useful for? Even if you don’t end up directly finding roles for them other than the shade, beauty, stormwater absorption, and heat mitigation they provide, researching the various co-inhabitants of your home place can be a fun adventure. And can help you feel better, less stressed about the land around the home you have bought.

The permaculture design principles and ethics offer us an exciting invitation to become learners and fellow-residents with the natural world (of which we humans are a part too, though we “modern” humans have cut ourselves off).

Whew, that got sort of longwinded! But anyway, Hi and welcome to this group! And congrats on your house, may you enjoy getting to know the nonhuman fellow residents who might have lots to share.