I'm not sure if European phragmites and buckthorn are under your watch at all, but I do see they aren't on the proposed list. Perhaps they are already being monitored, though as far as I can tell they are not. As an arborist for a utility company, I frequent natural areas all over the province and would say these two species would be my top priority. They take over everything and nobody seems to know anything about them. At best homeowners just leave them alone to grow, and at worst they encourage their growth by cutting or even transplanting. I see adults and their children shaking around the seed heads of phragmites as they play without knowing they are spreading the seeds. Machinery such as excavators transfer these plants (especially phragmites) to new areas readily as no one washes their machines (honestly who would). As someone who maintains right of ways, I can tell you buckthorn is just the worst. Whole swaths completely taken over and then I have to cut it all back (which is just the worst to have to do), and then watch it grow back in coming years. I wish the utility companies would take a more proactive approach, but then again these plants are literally everywhere you look. It breaks my heart.
Submitted February 27, 2020 5:59 AM