Lifestyle

Wild weed now in sights of Ridge bylaws dept.

Japanese knotweed is being added to the list of weeds that can be ordered removed from properties.  - Black Press files
Japanese knotweed is being added to the list of weeds that can be ordered removed from properties.
— image credit: Black Press files

Keep an eye on those nice-looking weeds spouting in your backyard.

If they grow fast, and look kind of nice – looks can be deceiving – because they could be Japanese knotweed.

The invasive plant can crumble roads, sewers and building foundations with its fast-growing roots and it has the attention of both Metro Vancouver and Maple Ridge, with the latter tuning up one of its bylaws to allow it to be tackled head on.

Council gave third reading last week to changing the Untidy and Unsightly Premises Bylaw so that Japanese knotweed is added to the list of weeds that can be ordered removed from properties.

If an order is given, homeowners will either have to remove the plant themselves or the district will it do for them and charge the bill on to their property taxes.

Removal though requires professional contractors.

The bamboo-like plant is strong enough to bore through concrete and so virulent, it can regrow from as little as 0.2 grams of root remains.

“It’s impossible to dig them up,”  Jennifer Grenz of the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver said last year.

“Their roots can reach [five metres] deep and 20 metres across.”

Knotweed has arrived in Maple Ridge and crews last year and this year have been trying to remove it along Lougheed Highway.

Coun. Al Hogarth though said blackberry bushes were just as bad and was concerned about pollution from the herbicide used to kill the knotweed.

Last year, an infestation of Japanese knotweed was discovered splitting concrete in the footings of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and infesting a section of the Highway 1 expansion project in Burnaby.

Since 2007, the U.K. government spent the equivalent of $110 million to eradicate four hectares of Japanese knotweed from the Olympic Park in London, prior to the construction of Olympic venues, according to the Royal Horticultural Society.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

CP Holiday Train stopping in Pitt Meadows
 
Back to the (rare) winter garden
 
As We Age: Reminders of how fragile life can be
Acts of Faith: Strength for another day
 
Police find mom of baby abandoned in Sydney drain
 
Two police officers hospitalized after being rammed by stolen truck in Surrey
A musical message of making every moment count
 
Poinsettias provide plenty of festive options
 
SLIDE SHOW: Chilliwack Progress photos for the week of Nov. 3, 2014

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 21 edition online now. Browse the archives.