Japanese Knotweed: The Silent Invasion
from the Japanese Knotwood Committee, September 17, 2004

17 September 2004


Dear FOBC members and concerned landowners,

There is a slow and insidious invasion going on in the Valley that is affecting us all. It is the proliferation of a very aggressive nuisance plant commonly known as Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum). You have all seen it and many of us even have it on our own properties and do not realize the implications of allowing it to continue to grow unabated. Please check out the following U.S. government link for a more complete description and history: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pocu1.htm

Friends of the Beaverkill has formed a committee in an attempt to spread the word to the membership and all other interested parties to see what practically can be done to either eradicate and/or control this problem as there are already huge spreads that have already taken over the banks of local streams and rivers. It is more prevalent lately since the massive floods of January, 1996 that severely eroded river and stream banks causing it to spread exponentially and severely affect the habitats of the native flora and fauna of the area.

There are now ongoing efforts in addressing this problem from both local (Livingston Manor Central School and KnotHeads, a citizen’s volunteer group headed by Lisa Lyons) and Government agencies (National Park Service-Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River, Jamie Meyers, biologist). At this time, many studies and projects here and nationwide are amassing information and strategies that will, in the near future, put forth suggested advisories that we will keep you appraised of what we can all do in controlling this problem.

What can we do now?

As we are approaching cooler weather and the eventual die-back of Japanese knotweed and while the plant is at its maximum visibility with its creamy white flower tassels it is suggested that landowners survey their properties and make a simple mapping out of exactly where it is present. Eradication techniques are different depending upon the size of the clusters and, of course, the smaller the patches are the easier it is to eliminate and control. We hope, after the efforts of many dedicated and concerned volunteers and experts, to be able to pass any further information on to you before the spring thaw when the plant once again pops its little sprouts only to further destroy that which nature originally intended for the Beaverkill Valley.

Japanese Knotweed Committee: Ed Hamerstrom, Mary Hall, Steve Levine (chairperson), Lisa Lyons, Woody Woodruff.



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