Japanese invader attacked in Qualicum Beach

Town says it is hopeful a local volunteer group will champion the cause of ridding the town of Japanese knotweed

  • Oct. 15, 2013 12:00 p.m.
Town parks staff member Jess Humphreys works on removing Japanese knotweed from a concrete headwall.

Town parks staff member Jess Humphreys works on removing Japanese knotweed from a concrete headwall.

It’s a destructive alien that is spreading its grasp on Qualicum Beach and it may take years to beat it down.

The Town of Qualicum Beach announced last week its Parks and Public Works staff have begun a multi-year approach to exterminating Japanese knotweed, a destructive, invasive plant that is spreading in the area.

“Crews will be out this week on public property cutting down and then injecting the noxious weed with a commercial weed killer,” said a release from the town. “The plant is then annually treated with the pesticide until it is fully eradicated.”

The town said Japanese knotweed is exempt from its pesticide use bylaw.

“The plant can cause major damage to foundations, concrete, pavement and leads to erosion in stream ways and potential destruction of fish habitats,” said Al Cameron, Superintendent of Public Works, Parks and Buildings. “It requires a longer-term approach that begins by injecting a recommended dose of commercial weed killer. Residents who have the plant on their property are requested to have it eradicated to prevent  spreading.”

The town said it is hopeful a local volunteer group will champion the injection and removal of the plant on private property. The town said it will provide the necessary equipment and clothing.

“The arrangement would be similar to the town’s successful collaboration with Broombusters, who work with town staff each year in addressing the spread of broom,” said the news release.

Residents seeking further information on Japanese knotweed are encouraged to access the brochure on the town’s website (www.qualicumbeach.com) or pick up a copy at town hall.

— NEWS Staff/Town of Qualicum Beach