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Brad Adams, landscape specialist for IRROMETER and former golf course superintendent, will present methods of improving large landscape irrigation scheduling efficiency through measuring, monitoring and managing soil moisture trends. Course Description: The efficient and beneficial use of irrigation water for golf course and sports fields has become a hot topic recently. Non-native Phragmites has been described as perhaps the most widely distributed and abundant grass on earth.
Phragmites, pronounced with a short ?, long i and a long e, is derived from a Greek word meaning fence.
In 1828 a document published by “gentlemen and clergy of the county” described Phragmites from a single site in Berkshire County’s Great Barrington.
Non-native Phragmites appears to have arrived as discarded packing material from ships, probably beginning in the 1700’s.
The non-native Phragmites is a very adaptable plant form with many characteristics that give it a competitive edge over our native plants. Phragmites is wind pollinated, so all the varieties that were originally introduced here have been interbreeding, thus creating a super Phragmites when compared to our native stock.
Native Phragmites is smaller in stature and the seed head looks somewhat different from that of the non-native Phragmites. No characteristics are completely reliable for distinguishing non-native from native Phragmites in the northeast. Black plastic such as one may use to discourage weeds in a vegetable garden deprives the plants of sunlight and heats the soil below it to lethal temperatures, but only for a few inches below the surface.
Having tried all of the above control mechanisms and grown weary of losing important rare species habitats, I began exploring the use of herbicides in the early 1990’s. Modern cides, when applied by trained individuals for very specific results, are the only tools available when long term control and ecological restoration are the goals. Sensitive to these issues I developed a very selective protocol called clip and drip where stems are cut and removed, and glyphosate is applied immediately to the hollow stem with a drip bottle. These methods have been used at more than 50 sites in Massachusetts alone, and nowhere have we seen undesirable consequences. Some towns staunchly believe they are protecting wetland resources by passing bylaws prohibiting the responsible application of herbicides to control invasive plants.
Often, the Attorney General’s office, charged with reviewing all bylaws, catch these illegal bylaws, and towns are reminded that herbicide use is under the specific control of the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR).
Conservation Commissions and DEP wetland regulators require that control plans be filed and approved.
As a society we need to recognize and confront the menace to our native habitats presented by invasive species. Tim Simmons is a Restoration Ecologist with MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) provides the tools to see, understand and value landscape architecture and its practitioners in the way many people have learned to do with buildings and their designers.
Water availability, environmental, and other key issues are top of mind for many superintendents and landscape managers. For more than 25 years I have observed Phragmites’ effects on important habitats and attempted to control it without causing any harm to the habitats I work in, all of which support species and communities of conservation concern in Massachusetts.
Also known as common reed, Phragmites australis australis is assaulting wetlands across the United States.
This and other lines of evidence led to a suspicion among botanists and habitat managers that there had been native Phragmites on the continent prior to European settlement, and questions remained about the relatively sudden explosion in Phragmites populations, especially notable since the 1950’s. It first appeared in port areas such as New York and Boston where it became rapidly dominant.

It sheds its broad lower leaves creating a thick litter that deprives native vegetation of sunlight and prevents germination by native plants. It alters wetland hydrology by transpiring available water and by interfering with normal circulation patterns. Native Phragmites usually has a reddish stem, often with black spots, and is smaller in stature with a different form of seed head.
This plant is so ubiquitous that tackling every stand isn’t feasible, and despite ongoing research no biological control agents have been identified. Based on experiences in dozens of communities, I can attest that the suffix cide derived from Latin caedare, to kill, evokes very strong reactions from many citizens particularly those of us raised in the era when Rachel Carson exposed the very unwelcome results of some pesticides, especially DDT, that were being applied liberally and casually with now well-known disastrous results. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide that works by interfering with a plant’s ability to metabolize normally. Extraordinarily labor intensive, clip and drip worked wonderfully and with no loss of native plants.
Flora and fauna of freshwater and brackish habitats are either unaffected or rebound vigorously. Nothing could be further from the truth as ceding our wetland resources to monocultures of non-native Phragmites does not constitute conservation of these resources. DAR works with Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW), and Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP) in ongoing administration of the applications and approvals of new products or new uses for existing products.
If a site is within mapped habitats for species protected under the MA Endangered Species Act, plans require approval from NHESP too. Born and raised in Toronto, Mayor Tory has spent his career promoting and giving back to the city he loves. He is focused on taking action to reduce commute times so Toronto residents can get to work on time and home to their families sooner. In the 1980’s he served as Principal Secretary to Premier Bill Davis and as Associate Secretary of the Ontario Cabinet.
He served as volunteer Chairman and Commissioner of the Canadian Football League and has chaired fundraising campaigns for St.
Mayor Tory was a founding Board Member and Chair of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance. Through its Web site, lectures, outreach and publishing, TCLF broadens the support and understanding for cultural landscapes nationwide to help safeguard our priceless heritage for future generations. Here in New England Phragmites is found in coastal salt marshes, great salt ponds, streams and estuaries on the coast and is also found invading important calcareous wetlands in western New England and too many wetlands in between. It can reproduce by seed or by rooting from broken stems and rhizomes (modified below-ground stems). It conducts chemical warfare by secreting a substance that suppresses other plants from growing in a process similar to the allelochemicals produced by tomatoes, walnuts, and many other plants.
Mechanical treatments such as repeated mowing have yielded little and only temporary success. Some methods such as dredging and excavating can remove most of the below ground material, but at the cost of egregiously altering the wetland resource’s ecology.
The original proposals to use glyphosate in protected natural areas were very controversial, to put it mildly. But it isn’t practical or recommended to use this method except in the most sensitive situations.
Additionally, these bylaws are illegal because they confound State and Federal Pesticide Control acts. In some cases, the AG’s office has mistakenly approved an illegal bylaw, thus triggering an unfortunate need for proponents to abandon their restoration efforts or engage in expensive legal battles that divert scarce management dollars from being used to accomplish much needed ecological restoration and management.

As individuals we need to abandon unfounded biases against products that pose no risk when used responsibly. Native and Non-native Phragmites: Challenges in Identification, Research, and Management of the Common Reed. As a lawyer, talk show host, businessman, Member of Provincial Parliament and Leader of the Official Opposition at Queen’s Park, and finally as Mayor, he has long believed that the diversity of Toronto is its strength. Mayor Tory is also getting to work on Toronto’s transit crisis by getting on with the Scarborough subway and beginning work on the SmartTrack line, a 53 kilometre, 22-station surface subway that would provide all day, two-way service across the city and bring needed relief to the congested Yonge subway. In September 2004, Mayor Tory was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.
He is a recipient of both the Paul Harris and Mel Osborne Awards from the Rotary and Kiwanis organizations respectively and was named a Life Member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board. As managers adjust schedules to meet these demands turf can suffer from stress or over watering. There are many genetic varieties that arrived here from Europe, Asia, and Africa; morphologically and genetically they are distinct from our native stock. By looking at modern aerial photographs and on the ground observations, we see a clear role for high-energy tropical storms and hurricanes in dispersing Phragmites up and down the coast. It reproduces vegetatively from fragments and from the millions of seeds that are produced annually. It is often easier to identify non-native forms by leaf and stem color, rate of spread, and angle of the leaves where they join the stem. Cutting above ground portions of the plant has no effect on the below ground resources, and Phragmites shows a remarkable capacity to rebound vigorously. Grazing can reduce some stands at their perimeters, but it isn’t practical in shallow water due to hoof diseases and can be very disturbing to the native community.
Initial applications were promising, but were there damages to non-target plants and other life forms? Wilkinson Ecological Design, specializing in ecological restoration on Cape Cod, has refined the method to more efficiently use this technique by bundling, cutting, and dripping on hundreds of stems simultaneously. Failure to act means future generations do not inherit healthy natural areas that society has spent millions of dollars to protect. In 2005, as PC Party Leader, Mayor Tory would serve as the Leader of the Official Opposition at Queen’s Park. He has also held leadership positions in a wide range of charitable organizations ranging from Canadian Paraplegic Association, Crimestoppers, St. He is also the recipient of an African Canadian Achievement Award and the Harry Jerome Award.
Dormant Phragmites stands in the spring, fall, and winter are highly flammable and burn with explosive intensity and when found in proximity to dwelling or roads these wildfires represent very dangerous conditions.
Trying to defend a wetland supporting more than 20 state listed species without damaging the resources appeared to be a calculated risk. Selective, targeted spraying via back pack mounted sprayers and mist blowers has resulted in remarkable, positive results. Michael's Hospital, Toronto Association for Community Living, the United Way, and the Women's Legal Education & Action Fund (LEAF). It still grows in that Great Barrington pond, but non-native Phragmites is threatening to encroach.

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