By Rusty Bastedo—
2012 has been a banner year for Japanese Knotweed in Dublin. As of early June, the plant, which resembles bamboo, is standing six feet tall in many parts of Dublin. The plant spreads rapidly, as with poison ivy and other vines, putting out new shoots every 12 inches or so in a straight line.
Without Advocate readers’ efforts, many of our roadways may be blighted with thick carpets of foliage on both sides of our highways before fall.
Advocate readers can help slow Japanese Knotweed’s advance by an initial hand cutting now, using either a scythe or a brush hook for the work. Do not use a mower or tractor on Japanese Knotweed, as this simply spreads the plant from one place to another. Your hand cutting will weaken the plant, making it more susceptible to later eradication.
If readers do not wish to hand cut this invasive, please report your observations of stands of the plant to the Dublin Conservation Commission, at Town Hall. The Commission is working to eradicate Japanese Knotweed, with State of New Hampshire advice and with State-licensed eradicators. The weed killers used are powerful and should not be used by individuals without advice on how to spray the undersides of leaves and stems.
Jack Lewis, for the Conservation Commission, states we “agreed to fund spraying of a homeowner’s stand of knotweed in August or September only if the property owner had cut down their stand in June and had let us know when they had done it, so that we could take a look and determine what would be eligible for spraying. We will only be spraying infestations that have been cut early this summer, and will be spraying on a ‘first cut and notified, first sprayed’ basis until our budgeted money runs out.” Contact the Conservation Commission, at the Dublin Town Hall.
For readers unfamiliar with Japanese Knotweed, there are good-sized stands of the plant on Route 101 west of Friendly Farm and just beyond MacVeagh Road. A stand of the plant that was treated and killed by spraying in August-September 2011 can be seen across from Carr’s Store, at Route 101/Route 137 North. Look for the brown stalks and you will see dead Japanese Knotweed.
We reiterate, Japanese Knotweed is an insidious invasive that has no natural predators. Without treatment and left undisturbed it will take over large parts of Dublin, as it has in other parts of New Hampshire.
Russell Bastedo was formerly New Hampshire State Curator from 1997 to 2009. He is on the staff of the Advocate.