Road commission out spraying Phragmites, knotweed

Locals lately have been commenting on social media about “spraying” going on along Oxford and Addison township roads. They wanted to know what was going on. So, your intrepid Oxford Leader reporters went to the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) for answers. Here’s what we came up with.

The RCOC is continuing to work with the Oakland County Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) to address invasive species growing along roads throughout Oakland County – including roads in both Oxford and Addison townships.

They will be out through October, with state-licensed commercial applicators applying an herbicide to knotweed and Phragmites located along roadways. On the day of treatment, yellow signs will be posted to indicate what products were used, specific restrictions and when the application took place. Additionally, private property owners adjacent to the treatment areas will be notified in advance by the commercial applicator. 

Phragmites grow in wet areas and can reach heights of 15 feet, leading to safety and environmental problems. It forms dense stands blocking views at intersections, impedes water access, impairs drainage, damages infrastructure, crowds out habitat and causes hot, damaging fires if ignited. Knotweed spreads easily when cut and can damage infrastructure including buildings and roads.

During application, the licensed applicator will apply the treatment from vehicle-mounted hand spray equipment or utilizing a backpack sprayer. The public is advised not to enter treated areas until the spray has dried.

The only effective means to deal with knotweeds and Phragmites is to chemically treat them utilizing a state-licensed commercial applicator. Cardno Inc., of West Olive, Michigan, will treat both Phragmites and knotweed. Additionally, PLM Lake and Management Corporation, of Morrice, Michigan, and GEI Consultants of Michigan, from Allendale, will focus on treating Phragmites. 

The chemicals used are registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The areas to be treated along roads can be found at  https://bit.ly/CISMATREATMENT2022 .

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