Bolton Faces Japanese Knotweed Infestation
With aquatic invasive species attracting so much attention, it’s not surprising that terrestrial invasives have received comparatively little notice from Lake George residents.
But according to Bolton Landing resident Anne Green, “this town is ground zero for Japanese knotweed. Bolton has more dense beds per acre than any other town in the Adirondacks.”
Last year, Green began working with a program called the Regional Inlet Invasive Plant Program (RIIPP), which was started in Herkimer County in 2008, to combat Japanese Knotweed.
After addressing the Bolton Town Board about Japanese Knotweed at its August meeting, the board adopted a resolution to purchase two devices, known as stem injection guns, which are used to poison Knotweed with an environmentally safe herbicide.
Since those cannot be used by anyone but licensed applicators, they will not be available immediately, but according to Green, the Town Board’s action demonstrated that it takes the issue seriously and that it is willing to take steps to combat Japanese Knotweed.
The board’s action also allowed Green, who is Bolton coordinator for RIIP, to remind residents that they should not attempt to eradicate Japanese Knotweed without the advice of experts.
According to Green, Knotweed invades river and stream banks, affecting native plants, fish and wildlife. Dense infestations clog drainage ditches and obscure visibility along roadways. Unwanted populations are also nuisances to landowners. But if it is not treated properly, it will spread rather than disappear.
Public highway departments have played an unintentional role in the spread of Knotweed, Green said, explaining that mowing and disposing of the plant improperly after ditching cause the weed to spread to other locations.
Green said she was pleased that both candidates for Bolton Highway Superintendent, Mat Coon and William Sherman, attended a “Japanese Knotweed Management Summit” at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek in August.
The Summit featured presentations on the distribution of Japanese Knotweed and status of management efforts, planning considerations, control options, permitting, case studies from public and private lands, community-based control programs and prevention measures, among other things.
“Japanese knotweed is one of the most detrimental and difficult to control invasive plants in New York, and it is spreading throughout the Adirondack region. Now is the time to take coordinated prevention and management action,” Hilary Smith, director of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, said.
While the Town of Bolton has offered to assist the Herkimer County-based Regional Inlet Invasive Plant Program, that program has also volunteered to help Bolton.
The program donated forty hours of a licensed applicator’s time, as well as the labor of volunteers, to help treat Japanese Knotweed in Bolton.
Last weekend, work began along the banks of Finkle Brook, according to Green.
Those seeking more information about managing Japanese Knotweed on private and public property in Bolton should contact Anne Green at 796-6405.