Thursday, 25 June 2015

Wild parsnip in ditches and herbicides

Wild parsnip
last year
I've written about the Wild parsnip in our ditches. The plants grow for two years, producing flowers and seeds in the second year. It was across the highway, in the ditch, and the seeds have both blown into our ditch, and birds must have taken the seeds onto our lawn, dropped them into my gardens –even 150m away from the ditch into the back yard.

This is an invasive species from Europe and Asia. Just like other toxins, like Giant hogweed, the oils on your skin react with the sun and produce a rash. I've had the same problem with Water parsnip in the pond. Who knew? Water parsnip is growing on top of the old muskrat push-ups.

Wild parsnip

The county has decided to do something about it.

Wild parsnip (poisonous)
at the end of our driveway
Lanark County will be conducting controlled roadside weed-spraying on sections of County Roads 1 (Rideau Ferry to Perth), 10 (Hwy. 15 to Ottawa boundary), 17 (County Road 10 to Beckwith 9th Line) and 43 (Merrickville to Smiths Falls boundary) from June 11 to July 10, weather permitting. The contractor will be using Clearview Herbicide Reg. #29752 to help control noxious and invasive weeds. Please contact Lanark County at 613-267-1353 for more details about this program, including additional information on how to obtain and post "No Spraying" signs for the your property. 
Doing a bit more research, I found more out about the chemical they are spraying: Aminopyralid...

Aminopyralid is a selective herbicide used for control of broadleaf weeds, especially thistles and clovers. It is in the picolinic acid family of herbicides, which also includes clopyralidpicloramtriclopyr, and several less common herbicides.[2][3] It was first registered for use in 2005, in the USA under the brand name "Milestone".[4] and in the UK under the brand names Banish, Forefront, Halcyon, Pharaoh, Pro-Banish, Runway, Synero, and Upfront.

Bush hog, July, 2014
Jun 11, 2015 - County Road 43 - Merrickville to Smiths Falls Boundary. The Contractor will be using the following pesticide: Clearview HerbicideReg. #29752 .

It would appear that they have been effective. The grasses are still growing, but not the parsnip or the sumac. Around the mailbox, we have several plants. They began to grow more rapidly after the county used the bush hog on the ditches, prior to digging the ditches deeper.

These are the 'befores'.

Sherry Steeves was gardening two weeks ago when she had a run-in with the wild parsnip, an invasive species that's a close relative of giant hogweed.
A Renfrew woman has been told to stay out of direct sunlight for three years after she brushed up against the sap from the toxic wild parsnip while gardening.
Later that day she spotted black markings on her leg — and that was just the beginning. 

As an update, the county is continuing to attack this noxious, poisonous weed.
Lanark County ramps up the war on wild parsnip
Stories abound of issues.


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Florida is the capital of invasive plants (and animals). I never think of you having that big a problem way up North there! Interesting post.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Just about every country in the world now has invasive plants which, in their home territory are just fine... it is a global problem which I rather think has 'grown beyond'... Here in UK, there are some places which can't be mortgaged due to the presence of Japanese Knotweed... it works into the foundations. In Oz there are endless numbers of 'noxious plants' listed. Persistence and consistency of treatment is required. Those two things sometimes go adrift... YAM xx

William Kendall said...

You wonder what effects the herbicide will have.

Nancy J said...

Hi Jennifer, I have so much catching up to do after 6 days of no internet. All OK here, a long day to Wellington, but all OK there, I am so thankful the pre-assessment went well. Hugs to you both, as I wonder how all is with you up North?

Red said...

I don't like invasive species but I don't like spraying either.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I don't like the rashes, so we decided to let them spray our ditch. It was a tough choice.

Jenn Jilks said...

One person commented online:
Horrible stuff. My young son tangled with a wild parsnip plant at his grandparents' house. He blistered terribly and will have the disfiguring burn scars on his arms for years to come. However it's done, get rid of these plants!

Jenn Jilks said...

And another experience by an employee:

They should just spray it, it's nasty. I have been burned by it because I had a boss that made me remove it from a property without proper skin protection. It's not easy for me to get jobs so I did it even tho I knew what the stuff was. I blistered and it felt like my arms were cooking on a grill and you can't get the heat off them. It happened last year and I still am very sensitive to sunlight and have some discoloration in my arms. People shouldn't touch it themselves if they don't know how to handle them. They are biennial and the first year plants look different because they are more low and flat against the ground and no flowers. People should be able to identify the first year parsnip