Middlefield Residents Warned of Invasive Species

First selectman says bamboo has been spotted in town and is likely to be the next threat facing the state.


Middlefield residents who attended a June 4 Board of Selectmen meeting were told to be on the lookout for two invasive species — tree destroying beetles and bamboo. 

The warning came after a letter was recently sent to the town by the United States Department of Agriculture requesting citizen participation in a pest survey of the Asian Longhorn Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer beetle, according to First Selectman Jon Brayshaw. 

"I have property where every single ash tree is dead," Brayshaw said. "There isn't one live ash tree so I would suspect that's what killed them." 

 The USDA and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has created an online survey where residents can report incidents of damage from the beetles which lay their eggs in trees, eventually destroying them.

To learn more about the insects — including their introduction in the United States and what to look for — visit www.beetledetectives.com

Brayshaw also said officials had recently warned him of a new threat facing the state. 

"Bamboo is going to be the next invasive species," said Brayshaw who told th audience he'd seen evidence that the plant is capable of growing through bituminous pavement. "My understanding is it's already in Middlefield."

pz June 11, 2012 at 12:37 PM
The bamboo or Japanese Knotweed spoted is horrible. It came with the poles. It was in the rocks brought in to build up the road for the CL & P . It has taken over the sides of the road on Jackson Hill Rd in Durham . If you follow the streams you can see where it has spread to Middletown and is also headed for Miller's Pond. Ugly Ugly. Grow to 6 ft high and thick stocks.
FearTheTruth June 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM
It's been a nuisance where I live for years. I tried weedkiller to get rid or it, full strength, and it killed everything except the knotweed. The only way I found to keep it in check is cut it down as soon as you see it. On a brighter note, the weed is eadible and contains a substance called "Resveratrol" which some people say is very good for you.
Baerbalang June 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Bamboo and Japanese Knotweed are two different plants. Japanese Knotweed is horribly invasive.
Knickerbocker June 11, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Actually Japanese knotweed gives the appearance of the bamboo plant but they are not closely related. It is a very invasive plant and has been labeled as such for much of the mid-to-northern eastern states. It is originally from Asia and was introduce into the US back in the 1800’s. It is nearly impossible to eradicate because of its large underground network of roots called rhizomes. I have it around my property and the more you try to cut it down the more invasive it gets because it is spread by seeds. The only way to kill it is to use an herbicide that travels deep into the root system. When mowing over it you have to be keenly aware to bag the clippings as this will spread it more.
Dianne Meeker June 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Dianne1963 Wouldn't the USDA and CT Agriculture parties know the difference between the two? These are the things that we need to understand that can happen when we import.
Diane St John June 15, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Many plants that are now considered invasive started out being sold at garden centers. I have seen a huge stand of bamboo in Durham that is on private property and the homeowner bought it at a garden center because they wanted a "fast growing privacy wall" on one side of their property. It is happily traveling all over. It is called Running Bamboo. Here is a link from the CT Nursery and Landscape Association to read more. http://www.flowersplantsinct.com/invasive_index.htm There are 2 other plants for sale at nurseries that should be banned. The overused Burning Bush (Euonymous alatus) and Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) are seeding all over our forested land and choking out native species.


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