Japanese Knotweed Update

Over the past few days, some of my neighbors and I have looked more closely at our waterfront properties and discovered that the infestation of Japanese Knotweed has spread. For the first time, I found some on my property.  We have been fighting a losing battle with it, digging it,  pulling it, cursing and swearing at it, witchcraft and many other ideas.

I had the village superintendent look at it last week and their jurisdiction ends about 20′ from Erie Crescent, so it’s very difficult to get the authorities to become involved.

Very little is being done in the USA generally. The USDA referred me to do more research on Google. Here are some of the links I found.

The problem
Japanese knotweed is one of the most damaging invasive species to arrive in the UK, continental Europe and the USA, and is capable of growing three metres in as many months. It was introduced from Asia to Europe in the early to mid-19th century as an ornamental plant. In its native Japan, the plant presents little or no problems due to natural controls that have evolved
to co-exist alongside and provide a natural brake on its spread. But in Britain, it is now deemed to be one of the worst invasive species. This is due to its vigorous nature, the damage it causes to buildings, paving, archaeological sites, riverways and railways. It also harms our native biodiversity, excluding our British plants by its dense growth.
The cost to the UK economy is also great. In 2003, the Government put the cost of control, if attempted UK wide, at over £1.5 billion. Since then, both the cost and the problem have grown.
These control methods rely mainly on chemicals and have been deemed unsustainable and unsuitable for a national eradication programme. a longer-term solution to the problem is required.

It only requires 1/4″ of root parts of this plant to be introduced to your back yard and it will eventually take over.

Japanese Knotweed, coming to a property near you – sooner than you think!

Author: Mike Caswell

I live in Fairport, and my home is at The Oxbow section of The Erie Canal. I fish, have a pontoon boat and like messing in boats. (see www.mud-skipper.com). I'm retired and enjoy every day living here with my wife Carol and our two dogs.

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