Research into the spread of non-native species usually assumes a long time lag between introduction and rapid spread, and many studies cite 50 years as the lag time. The reason for believing this is that it is thought that there needs to be sufficient time for adaptations to fine tune the fit between the exotic and its new environment, or that densities are so low to start with, finding mates and buffering populations from stochasticity (i.e., Allee effects) takes time. However, Curtis Daehler at the University of Hawaii, collected information on purposeful plant introductions into Hawaii in the 1920s. 23 of those planted have become serious invaders and the herbacious species showed a lag time of 5 years and 14 years for woody species. Knowing that lag times can be much shorter then we previously thought means that monitoring and management activities need to much more aggressive. It seems we can no longer assume a period of relative safety after a new species in introduced, new records of non-natives needs to be followed active assessment and perhaps intervention.
Curtis C. Daehler (2009). Short Lag Times for Invasive Tropical Plants: Evidence from Experimental Plantings in Hawai'i PLoS ONE, 4 (2) DOI: 10.1371/Journal.pone.0004462