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Controlling knotweed on your property

Controlling knotweed on your property

May is BC’s invasive species action month and the Coastal ISC (Invasive Species Committee) has partnered with other regional weed committees throughout BC to bring home owners fun and educational resources to help them defend their property from knotweed.

Visit to watch videos, get tips and download a booklet called “KNOT on my property”.

Knotweed species are found throughout communities on the Sunshine Coast.

According to REM, Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an imported species once favoured in Victorian gardens for its ability to provide privacy screens. Japanese knotweed has jumped the garden wall in BC and is now rampant in lanes, roadways, stream banks, along highways and on private property ranging from city lots to rural acreage.

The weed, often called “mock bamboo”, can bust through concrete foundations, asphalt roads and even metal.

Japanese knotweed is now in many BC regions, found in six provinces in Canada and 39 of 50 U.S. states and is on the World Conservation Union’s list of 100 worst invasive species.

Knotweed species are found throughout communities on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast. These non-native, invasive plants are listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s worst invasive species. M. Mohrs photo

The booklet provided by the Coastal ISC explains what KNOT to do if you find knotweed on your property:

• Do Knot cut, weed whack or mow knotweed. Knotweed is spread largely by small plant fragments so these activities turn one plant into thousands.

• Do Knot dig out large infestations. Knotweed roots can go as much as 3m deep and are extensive. Any tiny root fragment left behind can result in further growth.

• Do Knot put any knotweed parts in your home composter. Knotweed cannot be reliably “cooked” by your home composter. If you must cut it, put it in your green waste for pick up so it can be commercially composted by professionals.

The booklet goes on to advise that the most effective way to win the knotweed battle is to use specially selected herbicide. A product that can attack knotweed’s extensive root system is required.

Call a company with certified applicators. They can help you choose the appropriate treatment method for your property and get the job done safely.

There is no silver bullet with knotweed. Knotweed can take a few years of treatments to achieve control. Be patient and committed to your treatment program and you can defeat this stubborn alien and protect your home.

Tony Browton is an award-winning Realtor who lives and works on BC’s Sunshine Coast. 

His weekly blog can be found here

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