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Herbicide treatments for invasive species approved after discovery of ‘Mexican bamboo’ along Bruce Trail

05/07/2018

Herbicide treatments for invasive species approved after discovery of ‘Mexican bamboo’ along Bruce Trail

Mono council grants staff’s request to use herbicides to eradicate Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed where necessary

NEWS Apr 27, 2018 by Chris Halliday  Orangeville Banner
JapaneseKnotweed

Native to eastern Asia, the Global Invasive Species Database considers Japanese Knotweed as one of the world’s top 100 invasive species. - invadingspecies.com

 
Knotweed

Native to eastern Asia, the Global Invasive Species Database considers Japanese Knotweed as one of the world’s top 100 invasive species. - invadingspecies.com

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While giant hogweed is a “bigger problem,” Mono public works staff have gained permission to use herbicides when necessary after the discovery of Japanese knotweed on its lands along the Bruce Trail.

“Apparently, it has been around for a couple of years in town, but this is the first time this has come up on our lands,” chief administrative officer Mark Early said of the semi-woody perennial plant also known as Mexican bamboo, fleeceflower or Huzhang.

“We have a situation where the Bruce Trail crosses town lands and we know we have Japanese knotweed there,” he explained. “Between the Bruce Trail and the town, we’re trying to eradicate it.”

Native to eastern Asia, the Global Invasive Species Database considers Japanese knotweed as one of the world’s top 100 invasive species. Introduced to North America in the late 19th century for erosion control and forage for livestock, it has become an aggressive invader in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Dense thickets can reduce sunlight penetration by more than 90 per cent and prevent native plant species from growing by shading them out. The plant grows in large bamboolike clumps, reaching heights of three to 10 feet.

Earlier this year, Coun. Fred Nix notified public works staff of the discovery of Japanese knotweed along the Hockley Heights section of the Bruce Trail. This is the time first it has been discovered on town-controlled land.

On April 24, Mono council approved staff’s request that herbicides be used to eradicate invasive species such as Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed where necessary and according to provincial best practices.

“Hogweed is a bigger problem,” Early said, noting that while hand removal is the recommended to get rid of some invasive species, it can take too long to get ahead of their spread.

“The timelines for manual removal, it is five, 10 years down the road, you are still fighting with it,” he explained. “We not looking at pesticides. It is strictly herbicides.”

For more information, visit bit.ly/2Jy5Rry.


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