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Arenac Conservation District partners with Saginaw Bay CISMA (SBCISMA). Through this partnership, we partner with other communities in the Saginaw Bay area by sharing resources and promoting outreach and education. This is accomplished through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program through the Michigan DNR.
SB CISMA's office is with ours and is open to anyone wanting information about invasive species ID or management. Saginaw Bay CISMA is a collaboration between stakeholders in Arenac, Bay, Huron, Saginaw, Sanilac, and Tuscola counties, working to enhance invasive species management capabilities and share information and resources.
Phragmites is a wetland grass that is native to Eurasia. It has tall, thick stalks that can grow up to 15 feet.
Phragmites spread via underground roots called rhizomes that can spread and send up shoots through fragmentation and through seeds. Phragmites thrive in nutrient-overloaded areas and can spread quickly to outcompete native plants. Phragmites can also grow very densely and alter the chemistry of the soil, making it less suitable for native plants.
The thick mats and stands of phragmites plants make it difficult for fish and other aquatic animals to move about, affecting their ability to find food and reproduce.
To prevent the spread of phragmites, it is essential to clean boats and equipment before moving them between bodies of water and never intentionally move phragmites. An aquatic herbicide is generally the most effective treatment if phragmites have invaded an area.
European frog-bit is an aquatic plant native to Europe and Asia. It has round leaves 1-2 inches in diameter and small, white flowers.
European frog-bit spreads through seeds that can float on water by producing clonal "daughter" plants and through plant fragments.
When European frog-bit is introduced, it can spread quickly over the water's surface and shade out other aquatic plants. This can reduce habitat and oxygen levels for fish and other aquatic animals.
To prevent the spread of European frog-bit, it is essential to check boats for hanging plants and to clean, drain, and dry boats and equipment before moving them between bodies of water.
Small patches of European frog-bit are easy to manage; pull it out of the water with a rake or by hand, double-bag it, and dispose of it with your normal trash!
Japanese knotweed is an herbaceous plant that is native to Asia. It has hollow, reddish stems and heart-shaped leaves, producing small, white flowers.
Japanese knotweed spreads by sending up shoots from deep underground rhizomes and fragments of stems and rhizomes that can regenerate into new plants. It grows very densely and quickly, overtaking and shading lawns, ditches, and open areas. It is a hazard to infrastructure as it grows through asphalt, sidewalks, and even foundations.
Japanese knotweed is extremely difficult to remove: tilling, mowing, and burning will cause more spread, and it can become resistant to some herbicides. Because it is so hard to remove and spreads aggressively, it is essential to avoid planting Japanese knotweed for gardens or landscaping.
If Japanese knotweed has already invaded an area, Herbicide is the only effective removal method. Sometimes, smothering can be effective but requires intensive follow-up. Call SB CISMA for information about best practices or visit the DNR's page about Japanese Knotweed.
Giant knotweed is an invasive plant species native to Asia. It is related to and can hybridize with Japanese knotweed. It proliferates and can reach heights up to 10 feet (3 meters). Giant knotweed has thick, hollow stems with large, heart-shaped leaves and small white flowers.
It spreads quickly through underground rhizomes (roots) and can form dense stands that crowd out native plants. It is a serious threat to natural habitats and can cause damage to infrastructure such as roads and buildings.
Japanese knotweed is extremely difficult to remove as it can also spread through stem and root fragments. Tilling, mowing, and burning will cause it to spread more, and it can become resistant to some herbicides. Because it is so hard to remove and spreads aggressively, it is essential to avoid planting Japanese knotweed for gardens or landscaping.
If Giant knotweed has already invaded an area, herbicide is the only effective removal method. Sometimes, smothering can be effective but requires intensive follow-up. Call SB CISMA for information about best practices.
The spongy moth is native to Europe and Asia. It was introduced to North America in the late 1800s and has since become a major pest of trees and forests in the United States and Canada.
Spongy moths have a wingspan of 1.5 to 3 inches. The wings of the males are typically white or light brown, while the females have dark brown or black wings.
Spongy moths are known for their voracious appetites and are capable of defoliating entire trees and forests. While they prefer to feed on the leaves of hardwood trees such as oak, maple, and birch, they will also feed on conifers.
There are a few ways that spongy moth can be managed which include scraping egg masses off of trees and other surfaces, applying Bt to the leaves of host trees, and by encouraging natural enemies by reducing the amount of broad-spectrum herbicide and providing bird habitat.
Spongy moth populations are cyclical, meaning that they will have high numbers for a few years, the population will crash, and there will be low population for a few years before the cycle continues again.