Woody Invasives of the Great Lakes (WIGL) Collaborative

The Midwest Invasive Plant Network is currently facilitating the development of a collaborative partnership on woody invasive species in the Great Lakes Basin. This project, called the Woody Invasives of the Great Lakes (WIGL) Collaborative, is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) program. The WIGL Collaborative now has its own website at woodyinvasives.org, launched in July of 2020. The website provides a "one-stop-shop" to learn about woody invasive species identification, biology, distribution, regulation, native alternatives, and management options. Please check it out and let us know what you think!

Next up for the WIGL Collaborative is our Summit event. This is a two day symposium on invasive woody species being hosted as part of the Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference. Registration for the WIGL Summit is free (though we encourage people with a broader interest in invasive species to register for UMISC). Click here to download the program and here to sign up!


The WIGL Collaborative is focusing its efforts on 28 species that are a) not native to the Great Lakes Basin, b) truly woody in a northern climate (stems don't die back in winter), and c) are regulated as invasive plant by at least one Great Lakes State. All of these species were introduced historically for landscape use, either in gardens or for erosion control or wildlife forage. Some of them are still commonly planted, while others are no longer popular. Most of these species are spread through similar mechanisms and are controlled using the techniques. We are developing a new website as a clearinghouse of information on the WIGL species and on preventing the spread and controlling woody species in general. Stay tuned!


WIGL Collaborative Species

(listed by type and alphabetically by Latin name)


  • Acer platanoides - Norway maple
  • Ailanthus altissima - tree-of-heaven
  • Alnus glutinosa - European black alder
  • Morus alba - white mulberry
  • Phellodendron amurense - Amur cork tree
  • Populus alba - white poplar
  • Pyrus calleryana - Callery pear (see right two photos in composite, above)
  • Robinia pseudoacacia - black locust
  • Ulmus pumila - Siberian elm

Woody Vines

  • Ampelopsis brevipedunculata - porcelain berry (see center two photos in composite, above)
  • Celastrus orbiculatus - Asian bittersweet
  • Euonymus fortunei - wintercreeper
  • Lonicera japonica - Japanese honeysuckle


  • Acer ginnala/Acer tataricum subsp. ginnala - Amur maple
  • Berberis thunbergii - Japanese barberry
  • Berberis vulgaris - common barberry
  • Elaeagnus angustifolia - Russian olive
  • Elaeagnus umbellata - autumn olive
  • Euonymus alatus - burning bush (see right two photos in composite, above)
  • Frangula alnus/Rhamnus frangula - glossy buckthorn
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium - border privet
  • Lonicera maackii - Amur honeysuckle
  • Lonicera morrowii - Morrow's honeysuckle
  • Lonicera tatarica - Tatarian honeysuckle
  • Lonicera x. bella - Bell's honeysuckle (hybrid)
  • Rhamnus cathartica - common buckthorn
  • Rosa multiflora - multiflora rose
  • Rubus phoenicolasius - wineberry