ARLINGTON >> A new organization is offering invasive species management services this summer and fall for properties affected by Japanese knotweed and barberry. These species are fierce invaders who threaten Vermont's lands and streams by crowding out native plants and degrading habitat for native animals. Additionally, stands of barberry have much higher densities of Lyme disease-carrying ticks than uninvaded areas.
Control measures will in most cases involve the use of herbicide. Where appropriate, an herbicide safe for use near open water will be used. Herbicide-free methods may be possible in some areas; the appropriate management technique for an infestation will be determined after a site visit.
Thanks to a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Batten Kill Watershed Comprehensive Invasive Species Management Association (BKW CISMA) is able to offer Japanese knotweed and barberry control services at no cost to the landowner. Since swaths of these species cross ownership boundaries, cooperation from multiple neighbors will be key to the program's success. BKW CISMA is a collaboration between the Bennington County Conservation District and area land managers. The targeted land area covers most of Arlington, Sunderland, Sandgate, and Manchester and parts of Rupert, Dorset, Peru, Winhall, Shaftsbury, and Glastenbury.
Japanese knotweed is tall (up to 10 ft.), with large spade-shaped leaves, bamboo-like stems, and spikes of small white flowers that appear in late summer. It is often seen along roadsides and streambanks. Barberry is a thorny shrub, typically 2 but as much as 8 ft. high, with spoon-shaped leaves and red oblong fruits that often persist throughout the winter. It has been used in landscaped plantings but now can be found scattered throughout forests. For more information, contact BKW CISMA at 802-442-2275 or Juliana@bccdvt.org.
Coordinator, Batten Kill Watershed Comprehensive Invasive Species Management Association