, Derry, New Hampshire

November 7, 2013

Conservation members continue weed fight

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — As the weather gets colder, one local weed will be harder to get rid of.

That’s why Conservation Commission members will wait to take up the Japanese knotweed fight next spring.

The weed holds on tight and is tough to battle, members say. Once it’s warmer, the work will be easier.

“There’s not much we can do in the fall and winter,” commission member Jim Arruda said. “We should regroup for next spring.”

Battling Japanese knotweed could be a community effort, Arruda said.

In September at the annual Derryfest celebration, members distributed maps and offered information on knotweed. People were encouraged to take part in their own neighborhoods and report any of the weed they spotted.

The maps showed specific grids where the knotweed was growing heavily. People were asked to sign up for a specific grid.

Commission Chairman Margie Ives said the week spreads quickly and has long roots, up to 30 feet long or more.

It can take over open green space and is one of several insidious weeds the Conservation Commission fights every year.

People who choose to pitch in and cut it down need to follow disposal guidelines. That includes cutting, bagging and then bringing it to the Derry transfer station for proper disposal. That way there is no danger of any remnants catching hold somewhere else in the process.

By waiting until spring, there may be more people that might want to get involved in the project.

“It will be easier to identify in the spring,” Arruda said. “It’s the first thing that comes up.”

She said this particular plant has long roots and spreads like wildfire.

The Commission has used grant money to help support its invasive species work around town. The group has held workshops at the Shepard Park property in East Derry to teach people about knotweed and bittersweet and other plants that need to be taken away.

Information on the Conservation Commission’s mission can be found at