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Article Published June 28, 2022

Clinton Encouraging Action Against Knotweed

By Eric O’Connell/Zip06.com

Invasive plant species are nothing new to garden hobbyists. However, the Japanese knotweed plant is so infamous that citizens and town officials are encouraging others to fight back against the weed.

This invasive plant (officially Reynoutria japonica) can be found on riverbanks, hillsides, yards, roadsides, and almost anywhere there’s a bit of sun and moisture. The roots are so deep and powerful they can even undermine building foundations. In the U.K., knotweed has become so serious that it can stop the sale of real estate.

A post on the Clinton town website details how to identify the weed and the arduous removal process.

Per the post, “The best approach is cutting combined with herbicide application.” The post advocates a multi-step process beginning with spraying herbicide early in the spring. Next, in August, you should cut the plant to the ground and spray with herbicide again. The cuttings should be picked up and double bagged then disposed of or burned.

This process should be repeated and take about three years to eradicate. The full post can be found on the town website clintonct.org.

Several years ago, Nicki Dakis, a Clinton resident, came across an article on Slate.com detailing the dangers of knotweed. Since then, she’s made it her mission to educate others about the dangers of knotweed.

Dakis spoke with experts including a professor from the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry to learn more about the plant.

“I did a lot of research. Then I started noticing it a lot in Clinton,” said Dakis.

In fact, Dakis said part of what fuels urgency about the issue is the multiple places in town where she has spotted the plant.

“There’s a huge amount by the electrical wires by the path on Grove Street, as well as behind Town Hall,” said Dakis.

In the past, Dakis had spread flyers around town trying to spread awareness, but then a few months ago was able to connect with the town’s Conservation Commission.

“I was making a lot of noise about it and then the conservation commission got in touch. They were the ones who were able to put the post on the website,” said Dakis.

Dakis said that she’s pleased that more people are paying attention to her cause now, but cautioned there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“The town is involved now and that’s fortunate but we need to et the word out more. I hope that once we educate people it will inspire them t get ride of it. If everyone does their part it will be good,” said Dakis. “We really do not want this to spread. It can be impossible to get rid of and it can even decimate your house.”