Wednesday, May 7, 2008

101st post! Japanese Knotweed

This article describes the controversial subject of controlling Japanese knotweed in the UK.

Until recently, the only effective method of control was to use Roundup or similar toxic chemicals, which of course are probably causing worse problems than the spread of this noxious weed. If anyone reading this uses Rondup in their gardens, I beg you, get rid of it. Dozens of studies around the world have linked its use to many forms of cancer, particularly testicular and ovarian cancer.

Japanese knotweed (also known as "false bamboo") is a plant that has caused extensive damage to European, Canadian and American parks, forests and urban areas. It spreads rapidly, kills other plants (including mature trees) and is extremely difficult to eradicate.

Let's hope the use of beetles will prove to be a non-toxic measure for helping control it. The Brits are obviously more interested in organic methods than we are since they have a smaller landmass (with denser pockets of people) than we do.

I recall the first time I saw this noxious weed in the UK: it was growing in a huge patch near a stand of elder trees, at the base of Glastonbury Tor, not far from the old apple orchards. I had never seen it in England before but had seen it destroy parts of Franklin Park in Boston. Needless to say I was horrified. I found myself cursing tourists, assuming this was how it was spread there. Now I know it can be found in soil shipped from infested areas, so it's just as likely a local gardener transported it while out on a daily walk.

More information on both toxic and non-toxic options for controlling this scourge can be found here: Japanese Knotweed Alliance.

An alliance...seems quaint. We need a freaking army to defeat this stuff.

No comments :