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Speculator, NY ,

The RIIPP group includes (front, from left) Erik Werner, Lenny Croote, Ann Conable, Terry DeArmas, and Ellen Collins; (middle) Paul Garrison, Doug Johnson, Zack Simek, and Evelyn Greene; and (back) Nick Rose, Robert Manning, Avery Menz, Brendan Quirion, and Jan McCann. (Photo submitted)


RIIPP is conquering knotweed

Saturday, July 19, 2014 - Updated: 9:39 AM

INLET -- Efforts to control Japanese knotweed in the Adirondacks continue to make great strides.

The Regional Inlet Invasive Plant Program (RIIPP), which started in 2008, has expanded treatment areas each year since, with a long-term goal of eradicating Japanese knotweed throughout the Adirondacks. Fourteen members of the group met June 29 to discuss plans for 2014.

In 2013 about 60,000 knotweed canes were injected and thousands more sprayed with herbicide (glyphosate) in over 200 sites including Arietta, Big Moose, Blue Mountain Lake, Bolton Landing, Chestertown, Cranberry Lake, Croghan, Eagle Bay, Garnet Lake, Hope, Horicon, Indian Lake, Inlet, Johnsburg, Keeseville, Piseco, Lake Placid, Lake Pleasant, Long Lake, Old Forge, Morehouse, North Creek, North River, Saranac Lake, Speculator, Star Lake, Webb, Tupper Lake, Wanakena, Warrensburg, and Wells.

In 2014, RIIPP will continue efforts in those towns, treating sites again as needed and treating many additional sites, coordinating efforts with those of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program and the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District. RIIPP will also start treating wild parsnip, another invasive plant.

Japanese knotweed forms dense thickets of thick bamboo-like hollow stems, with mature heights over 10 feet and an extensive network of underground roots. The leaves are somewhat heart-shaped with white lacy flowery clusters that form in August.


The recommendation is not to cut knotweed at all, or not after June 1, so there is enough growth to allow effective herbicide application in August / September. Digging the plant up is not recommended, since tiny root fragments can start new plants.

Treatment with herbicide (glyphosate), if done properly, is very effective. Treating sites near rivers and streams is important to prevent downstream spread of knotweed.

The program has been very successful. Knotweed has been eradicated at many sites, and is a tiny fraction of what it was at others. The community has pitched in, with volunteers identifying sites and obtaining property owner permissions.


At RIIPP's meeting the need for raising additional funds was discussed, including from owners whose property has been treated, lake associations, and towns.

While there is no cost to property owners for the herbicide applications, tax-deductible donations and volunteers are needed for these efforts to continue.

Donations should be made payable to: Town of Inlet, Invasive Plant Control Fund, and mailed to Town of Inlet, POB 179, Inlet NY 13360. Check out, which includes a slide show and provides detailed information for property owners and volunteers and how to treat knotweed.


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