Scotch broom not the only invader to battle

While driving along the Seawalk near Rockland Road next week, you may wonder if we’ve been invaded by aliens

While driving along the Seawalk near Rockland Road next week, you may wonder if we’ve been invaded by aliens.

You would be right.  However, the aliens aren’t the guys in white suits with strange looking tools. The alien is knotweed, an invasive plant threatening the ecological integrity of the foreshore. Knotweed originates from China but this infestation likely arrived in a truck dumping garden waste. Knotweed has incredible growth rates and spreads using underground rhizomes; a piece the size of a fingernail can produce a 10 foot plant in one season.

“Imagine for a moment a 10-foot wall between the Sea Walk and the ocean,” says Greenways volunteer Sandra Milligan.  “We don’t want Knotweed to get a hold here or in any environmentally sensitive area.

“It creates a monoculture with no diversity, outcompetes native plants, removes food and nesting resources, and creates a fire hazard in the dormant season.  We call it biological pollution, pollution that reproduces!”

For years diverse methods to control Knotweed have failed.  Ernie Sellentin of the Coastal Invasive Plant Committee tells us “the only effective treatment is injection of each stem with glyphosate, or Roundup.”

The Seawalk near Rockland Road and a few other locations will be cordoned off during treatment Monday, July 9 and Tuesday, July 10 for treatment.

Milligan says, “long-term investment is essential for success:  repeat removals and treatments, replanting of native species and monitoring, all of which can and has been happening with the support of our great volunteers.”

For more information, contact Greenways Land Trust at 287-3785, or Sandra Milligan at 204-2040.