Val-Saint-François towns call for aid in the fight against giant hogweed

Record Staff
Val-Saint-François towns call for aid in the fight against giant hogweed
An employee of Quadra Environment working to uproot giant hogweed plants alongside the Brandy Creek in the summer of 2020 (Photo : Record Archives/Gordon Lambie)

Efforts to eliminate what is considered to be Quebec’s largest infestation of giant hogweed will require more time and more money, according to the Conseil regional de l’environnement de l’estrie. Despite ongoing efforts from the municipalities of Racine, Valcourt, Valcourt Township and Maricourt since 2017, the invasive species known for having a sap that causes a light-sensitive reaction that can result in terrible burns and hospitalization are now growing on 50 kilometres of the banks of the Brandy creek and the Black River in the Val-Saint-Francois MRC.
“The fight against giant hogweed is relatively recent in Quebec and the data is not clear as to the ability of the seeds to survive in the ground,” said Nicolas Trottier, President of Quadra Environment, the firm that has been hired to help control the invasive species. “The latest studies have shown that seeds are still viable after seven years in the ground. There is also talk of a species in which a single individual is likely to produce nearly 20,000 seeds. We must reasonably expect control work over a period of 10 years to prevent giant hogweed from re-establishing itself in the controlled environment.”

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