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Invasive Plants

Invasive Plant Infestation

Invasive plants are non-native plants that aggressively grow in parks, gardens and other green spaces. These plants might seem like a good choice for gardens because they look nice and grow quickly, but they can have serious negative environmental impact. In their natural habitat, invasive plants have competition that keeps them manageable. In new places with no natural controls, invasive plants escape gardens and grow unchecked in natural areas.

Community Impacts

Invasive plants have lasting economic, social, and environmental impacts:

  • Lower habitat value for local wildlife as the native plants they depend on for food and shelter are displaced by invasive ones.
  • Changed landscapes. When invasive plants take over, natural areas may not function well.  Invasive plants may reduce shade and shelter, weaken soil stability, and alter the movements of wind and water.
  • Increased exotic pests and plant diseases (like black garden slugs).
  • Increased cost to the City of Surrey to restore parks affected by invasive plants.
  • Reduced recreational value. Invasive plants reduce the natural beauty and decrease the variety of plants and animals.
  • Reduced crop yield by an estimated $50 million annually in BC

Invasive Plants Spread Quickly

  • Seeds: Many invasive plants are very good at spreading their own seeds. For example, Policeman's Helmet can fling its seeds up to 7 metres (23 feet)!
  • Growth: They creep into natural areas from other properties, growing over, under and even through anything in their path. English Ivy can spread up to 4.5 metres (14 feet) in one year.
  • Waste: Invasive plants are tough and can keep growing from even the smallest parts of the plant. Dumping garden clippings in natural areas is a sure way to spread these unwanted plants, and it's against the law.

Help Reduce Impacts

  • Avoid planting invasive plants on your property. Find the right plant for your lawn or garden.
  • Properly dispose of your garden clippings, hanging baskets, and other yard waste. Place these in your green organics bin for curbside pickup.
  • Learn how to identify Surrey's common invasive plants.
  • Volunteer to remove invasive plants in your neighbourhood park.

Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed can cause considerable injury to people and is a serious threat to natural ecosystems. To report this plant along City of Surrey roads, boulevards, ditches and in park land, please call our service request line at 604-501-5050.

 

Nature Work Parties

A group of volunteers removing blackberry in a park

Drop in to a Nature Work Party and get your hands dirty removing invasive plants.

July 7 to September 22, 2018