Last call for Japanese Knotweed (aka Mexican Bamboo) eradication this year!
There is a one month window of time, now while it is flowering with lacy, arching, tiny white blossoms (rather pretty I have to admit, but pretty is as pretty does). It can grow to 10 feet tall and completely hide old houses where they made the mistake of actually planting it. Many generations of families have been fighting it ever since as it has no natural enemies here to keep it in check. Moving infected fill is also very effective at spreading it. At least it seems not to spread by seed.
To kill it dead, each stem needs to be injected with herbicide and the stems need to be thumb size, not too small. DO NOT CUT IT all season, or until three weeks after it has been treated when it will be thoroughly dead. Here’s why! The plant sends food made during the growing season to the roots (which can go very deep) at the end of its growing season and it takes the herbicide with the food to the tips of the roots.
The leaves of smaller plants can be sprayed at the same time of year, but it is not as effective as injection. Go to noknotweed.org for more information on the process, and about the volunteer group in Inlet which is trying to keep Adirondack streamsides from being choked with knotweed as has happened in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. 251-3772 is my number if you want yours treated by mid-September. We do not have much funding this year but will do what we can.
Another evil Japanese species is still being planted around town, and we will be sorry. It spreads by seeds carried by birds and mammals, but even the sterile plants (if they really are sterile) will spread aggressively sideways. It is a devil to dig up, pull up, and even kill by burning with a blowtorch. Both these plants, knotweed and barberry, will be illegal to sell in New York next year, along with many other invasive plants. In England you can go to jail for letting knotweed loose from your property!
On a happier note: I’ve been exploring a new-to-me gem of a forest preserve parcel just north of The Glen. There are hundreds of big, tall, straight white pines, not really “old growth” as we bought it in 1928, but it is magnificent forest, doing a great job of sequestering carbon dioxide. It turns out that even old growth trees continue putting on biomass as long as they live, which can be almost 500 years. They can grow to 180 feet tall though the highest I have seen here that was measured accurately was 137 feet. There is also at least one “rich” area in the “Hudson Big Pines” where plants that need extra calcium can grow because of bedrock marble.
Today a friend and I discovered a pond there, nestled between two ridges, which has floating bog mat all around it. There is lots of “cotton grass” and most of the other bog plants which live only in permanently wet, acidic sphagnum wetlands. I’ll check it next spring for wild orchids. What fun!