Press-Republican

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July 16, 2013

Workshop to focus on Japanese knotweed

KEENE VALLEY — Japanese knotweed takes the spotlight during an upcoming workshop on invasive species in the Adirondack Park.

Invasive-plant experts from across the region will be on hand Monday, Aug. 5, as part of the Japanese Knotweed Management Summit: Taking Action in the Adirondacks workshop at Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek.

“Over the years, our partners in the Adirondack Park have held conferences focused on a variety of topics,” said Hilary Smith, director of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program.

“This year’s focus (Japanese knotweed) is one of the most aggressive invasive species in the park. It spreads quickly and is very difficult to control.”

Japanese knotweed invades river and stream banks, impacting native plants, fish and wildlife, Smith said. Dense infestations can clog drainage ditches and also reduce visibility along roadways.

“It’s affecting homeowners, transportation officials and natural-resource managers,” she said. “The workshop will provide an opportunity to share our thoughts on best management practices.”

‘A GREAT MODEL’

Infestations in the Adirondack Park are at a stage where an aggressive management plan can be effective, she added.

“If you leave the region, you can see where this plant has spread for miles. If we can engage communities, we can prevent that kind of infestation.”

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program is working with landowners in 16 communities to attack the plant where it stands.

“We’re seeing great success from our management practices on public lands and private lands,” Smith said. “Together, it’s a great model for being able to address the problems caused by this species.”

The most effective way to treat Japanese knotweed has been with herbicides, Smith said. Workers use an injection gun to place herbicide into the stem of the knotweed, killing it with minimal impact on non-target species.

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