Invasive Species

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Invasive Species

Invasive species are plants and animals not native to an area. Left unchecked, they can crowd out native species, resulting in ecosystem changes and environmental damage. Some also pose a health and safety risk. The Provincial Weed Control Act designates certain invasive plants as “noxious weeds”, and makes property owners and occupiers responsible for their control.

Noxious weeds of particular concern for health and safety reasons are the Knotweeds (Giant, Japanese, Bohemian and Himalayan) and Giant Hogweed.

The District has been fulfilling its obligation under the Weed Control Act by hiring a contractor to control Knotweed and Giant Hogweed on public property and along roadways.

Private property owners are strongly encouraged to address infestations on private lands by either seeking direction on how to control these noxious weeds themselves, or hiring a contractor to do so.

The Fraser Valley Invasive Species Society (FVISS), a local non-profit society, is available to provide free advice or conduct control efforts at property owners’ expense. The FVISS can be reached by email or by calling 778-548-3847.

For additional information on the South Coast Conservation Program’s “Nature Stewards Program”, and obtaining a free ecological assessment to see how your property may be enhanced for habitat, please visit our online Environmental Community Initiatives page section. Enhancement work is free for properties that are found suitable, and may include planting of native species.

 

Giant Hogweed - Do Not Touch!

Giant Hogweed can cause blindness and third-degree burns on contact.

 

Giant Hogweed is an invasive plant that resembles cow parsnip, but grows up to 5 metres (15 feet) tall. The large, hollow, central stalk is green with purple spots. The dark green, coarsely-toothed leaves are divided into three segments. Small white flowers grow in a large, flat-top, umbrella-like cluster, which can measure up to one meter across. An individual Giant Hogweed plant can produce 50,000 seeds.

Giant Hogweed likes to grow in wet areas near streams and has been found along Draper and Silverdale Creeks, but it has been sighted in other locations as well. Children may be particularly attracted to the plant, and should not be allowed to play in areas where this plant may be present. Due to the risk of injury, it is not recommended to undertake removal of Giant Hogweed yourself. Do not place Giant Hogweed in your curbside garbage, and do not compost it in your backyard under any circumstances.

If you see Giant Hogweed in the District of Mission, please report the location to the Engineering Department by email or calling 604-820-3736.

Giant Hogweed brochure

Knotweed

All four species of Knotweeds (Giant, Japanese, Bohemian, and Himalayan) are extremely invasive, choking out native vegetation wherever they establish. Knotweed is often confused with bamboo due to the similar stem structure, and likes to grow in moist areas, with roots potentially extending up to 6 metres (20 feet) downward and 20 metres (66 feet) sideways. Knotweed roots lack root hairs, and are therefore not capable of holding soil in place.

Knotweed infestations along rivers and streams can result in severe bank erosion. Roots can also grow through concrete, including sewer lines and concrete foundations.

Knotweed is very difficult to control. Small (less than 3 cm) stem segments may take root, so Knotweed should never be mulched. Mowing Knotweed is only recommended, if it can be done in one clean cut of the stem close to the ground. It may take several years and four to five consistent cuttings per season to bring Knotweed under control by cutting. Cut plants that have not gone to seed can be dried out on an impermeable surface and composted when completely dry. Other control measures include covering the plants to deprive them of sunlight and applying a herbicide to the leaves of the plant. Once Knotweed has gone to seed, it can be double-bagged and dropped off at the Mission Landfill free of charge. Please let the scalehouse operator know what you’re bringing in and follow directions.

For additional information on the Mission Landfill, please visit our Drop-offs and Landfill page section.

Tansy Ragwort

This plant is of concern due to its potential to cause cumulative liver damage in livestock, even in small amounts. Tansy Ragwort is a biennual plant with small, daisy-like yellow flowers and leaves somewhat resembling “ragged” kale, when they first emerge. Tansy Ragwort grows up to 1.2 metres (4 feet) tall.

Touching the plants should have no effect on humans when wearing gloves, so pulling them out and double-bagging them for disposal in the garbage is an acceptable method of control. There are also biological controls available. Residents choosing to deliver Tansy Ragwort to the Mission Landfill must double-bag the plants to prevent seed dispersal, and let the scalehouse operator know what they’re bringing in. There is no charge for dropping off Tansy Ragwort at the Mission Landfill.

For additional information on the Mission Landfill, please visit our online Drop-offs & Landfill page section.

Himalayan Balsam (aka Policeman's Helmet)

Himalayan Balsam is an annual plant, growing up to 2 metres in height. Flowers are white, pink, or reddish and resemble an English policeman’s helmet. The seed capsules “explode” when touched or moved by the wind, with each capsule releasing hundreds of seeds. Policeman’s Helmet spreads rapidly and displaces native vegetation. In Mission, there are large infestations along Tyler Road.

 

 

For more information on Invasive Species, contact the District’s Engineering Department.

General Inquiries:
Email: engineering@mission.ca
Phone: 604-820-3736