We spend countless hours a year walking the shores of Lake Erie for site visits, during that time we see one plant time and time again. Its deep green leaves and dark red stalks can look appealing at first glance, but upon closer inspection, you'll note it's choking out the native vegetation and hiding serious erosion damage. This plant is commonly known as Japanese Knotweed.
Established Japanese Knotweed
Despite the US Department of Agriculture classifying Japanese Knotweed as a highly invasive species, many lakefront homeowners have no idea how to identify, eradicate, and mitigate its damage.
Japanese Knotweed choking out other native plants in Conneaut, Ohio.
"It is a large, fast-growing shrub-like plant that can grow through asphalt and concrete and reach 9 feet in height. It has large woody rhizomes that can grow up to 10 feet deep and 40 feet long, and remain dormant for years. It can regenerate from rhizome pieces as small as ½ inch." -University of New Hampshire
The young shoots of the plant are often incredibly shallow, so during the fall when the plant dies back for dormancy the shoots pull up to the surface, eroding the earth around it.
Underground Rhizome Structure: Photo Credit to New Hampshire Department of Agriculture
The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture released a report in 2018 with eradication methods, it's one of the most comprehensive guides that we could find.
We hope this post will help you take action and slow the erosion of your shoreline!