IN VIDEO: Watch out for this invasive Okanagan plant before it rips your driveway apart - InfoNews

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IN VIDEO: Watch out for this invasive Okanagan plant before it rips your driveway apart

Tanya Brunelle, right, enforces the noxious weed bylaw for the Central Okanagan regional district.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Regional District of Central Okanagan
June 11, 2019 - 5:30 PM

KELOWNA - It came as an ornamental plant but like many other species introduced into the Okanagan, the Japanese knotweed is now branded a noxious weed.

“It grows through asphalt and concrete,” Tanya Brunelle, noxious weed and insect bylaw officer for the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, says in a Facebook video. “It’s damaging infrastructure like bridges, ramps and roadways. It is so destructive.”

It can grow 2.5 metres tall.

The video is the first of what the regional district hopes will be many to come as they try to get the message out about noxious weeds.

It’s part of the regional district’s #weedtipsWednesday Facebook postings that run from April through September. The goal of the Facebook campaign is to draw attention to some of the nearly 100 noxious weeds and grasses listed in its bylaw.

The posts will be done to coincide with the time of the season when they’re most likely to be found.

Some, like purple loosestrife and knapweed, are well known as noxious weeds, while others, like baby’s breath and St. John’s wort, may not be considered by some as being noxious. And that's OK because the bylaw only requires you don’t let them grow more than 20.32 cm or eight inches high.

In 2018, the regional district received 527 complaints. Usually, it works with property owners to get them to take control of the situation but in 50 cases last year, a contractor was hired to cut down weeds and the property owner was billed for the work.

If you're wondering what all the invasive species look like check out the Invasive Species Council of B.C. website here, or the Okanaga Invasive Species Online here.

Brunelle doesn’t hunt the weeds down, she responds to complaints, which can be filed by filling out a form online here.

Goats beard is a noxious weed.
Goats beard is a noxious weed.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Regional District of Central Okanagan

Wild mustard is another noxious weed.
Wild mustard is another noxious weed.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Regional District of Central Okanagan

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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