Invasive Phragmites Found in Several Oxford Lakes
(CISMA, Feb. 9, 2022)
Oxford, MI – 2021 surveys in Oxford Township revealed significant invasive Phragmites infestations in several local lakes including Powell Lake, Stony Lake and Horsehoe Lake. Phragmites is a wetland grass that can grow up to twenty feet tall. The seeds on the end of the grass look like a feather duster and are visible in fall and winter. Phragmites spread via seeds and underground rhizomes. In order to manage the plant, it can be treated with approved wetland herbicides.
Phragmites thrives in shallow lakes and wetlands especially and is best to recognize quickly before the plant becomes widespread. The Oakland County CISMA managed the chemical treatment of Phragmites at Stony Lake in 2021 and Oxford Parks and Recreation Department hired a contractor for Phragmites management at Powell Lake. Management of Phragmites must continue for three-five years to be successful.
Oakland County CISMA also manages Phragmites and invasive knotweed on county road right-of-ways. Knotweed was treated for the first time in 2021. Erica Clites, Oakland County CISMA director, explains “Knotweed is one of the world’s worst invasive plants. It spreads via seeds, fragments and underground rhizomes. Mowing as well as rain storms along streams can easily spread small fragments that start new infestations. We are partnering with the Road Commission for Oakland County and Oakland County Parks and Recreation to reduce the amount of knotweed on county roads in order to discourage it’s spread. If you see a plant to looks like bamboo in your yard, give us a call to make sure that plant is not knotweed!”
In addition to Phragmites and knotweed, woody invasive species such as common buckthorn and invasive bittersweet are common in yards and natural areas in Oxford Township. A 2019 survey of the Polly Ann Trail revealed these and other woody invasive species. Emily Messick, Oakland County CISMA field coordinator suggests “Many woody invasive species are spread when birds eat the berries and then fly to new areas. We are collaborating with the Polly Ann Trail staff and volunteers as well as Oxford Township on a plan to manage woody invasive species along the trail. Woody invasive species can be controlled through volunteer work days or with the help of contractors. In order to control woody invasive species in your own yard, check out our brochure!”
The Oakland County Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (Oakland County CISMA) is a collaboration of 40+ partners founded in 2014 to support functioning ecosystems and enhance quality of life through invasive species management. Oxford Township has been a CISMA member since 2019. Find the full list of partners here: https://oaklandinvasivespecies.org/current-members/ Learn more by following Oakland County CISMA on Facebook and watching our videos on YouTube.