A group called The Sullivan Renaissance has awarded a grant to Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. for a public education project targeting Japanese Knotweed. This $1,900 grant will go towards meeting the required matching funds required by The Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program grant that will kick in another $12,900 toward a knotweed education campaign. A series of 4 seminars will be offered at no charge.
Participants in these seminars will receive information on mechanical and chemical control of Japanese Knotweed. Also eight information panels will be set up along the route 97 corridor; one for each municipality. Japanese Knotweed , often called bamboo or monkeyweed is an invasive plant that the World Conservation Union calls one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. That should give you an idea how nasty this stuff is.
Knotweed grows like crazy in dense colonies that choke everything else out. It easily reaching heights of 8 to 12 feet.
Once it shows up it’s very hard to control let alone eradicate, though there has been some success with herbicides and more recently biological controls like leaf spot fungus and Aphalara itadori which is a psyllid from Japan. Psyllids are plant eating bugs that are usually host specific.
The Delaware River valley is loaded with knotweed. The large colonies have taken over huge expanses of riparian ecosystems driving out native plants. The roots of these plants can go as deep as nine feet and with a cold tolerance of 30 below zero F. One more illustration of how hard it can be to get rid of Japanese Knotweed.