I'd like to extend a thank you to the volunteers and agencies that helped with a Bohemian (commonly referred to as Japanese) knotweed 'smother.' The UAF Cooperative Extension Service Juneau District office along with the Forest Service, Juneau Watershed Partnership and Parks and Recreation implemented a small Bohemian knotweed eradication project this summer. Our goal is to eradicate a dense, moderately sized patch of knotweed along the lake without the use of pesticides. If successful then local homeowners may have another option for fighting this 'take over your yard' weed.
Our project was modeled after a small test plot done a couple of years ago by Samia Savell with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. After the Knotweed was cut down we covered it with light impenetrable black groundcover. The groundcover was put in place with erosion control fabric staples. A few sandbags will likely also be used to hold some patches down as more windy, rainy, and snowy weather comes our way. We'll continue to monitor and repair the groundcover periodically. Young shoots that come up around the borders will need to be cut down often. Because of knotweed's incredibly hardy root system the groundcover will stay in place for at least a couple of years.
Thank you to all volunteers who helped with this project. Thanks also to Don Abel's for giving a discount on supplies making the project affordable. We look forward to continuing work on this project over the next couple of years. If you are out enjoying a nice fall day, take some time to check out the eradication project. It is located on the north end of the lake near the pump house where you will also find an informational poster. If you have questions about the project please contact Melinda Lamb at 586-8811 ext. 283.
Technician, University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service