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Kudzu vine has been found in Ontario

September 22, 2009  By Ontario Invasive Plant Council


kudzuvineNEWS HIGHLIGHT

Kudzu vine has been found in Ontario
It
has been taking over fields, roadside signs, fences, trees, and houses in the
U.S. for years, but now, the kudzu vine (Pueraria montana) has been discovered
in Ontario.



Sept. 22, 2009 – It
has been taking over fields, roadside signs, fences, trees, and houses in the
U.S. for years, but now, the kudzu vine (Pueraria montana) has been discovered
in Ontario.

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kudzuvine 
 Kudzu Vine growing on trees.


 

The invasive vine has been
found on the shores of Lake Erie near the town of Leamington, Ont.

The kudzu vine is a
native of Eastern Asia, and was first brought to North America in 1876 for a
centennial exhibition. It was later used for erosion control and promoted as a
forage crop. Eventually, it took over much of the southern states and despite
attempts to stop it, has continued to spread northward.

“We have been watching
the kudzu vine move toward Canada for some time now, with great apprehension,”
says Rachel Gagnon, coordinator of the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC), a
collective of organizations collaborating to address the spread of alien
invasive plants in Ontario. “Our colleagues in the south have been fighting a
tough battle with this invader, so we need to take immediate action in Ontario
to stop kudzu in its tracks. Fortunately, it’s been found early, so unlike
previous invaders, such as dog strangling vine, we have the potential to
eradicate kudzu and protect Ontario’s biodiversity. Controlling this menace is
critical to maintaining our native plants and wildlife habitat. If we let kudzu
become established, it will cause untold ecological and economic damage.”

Like all other invasive
species, when the vine takes to its new environment it spreads quickly at the
expense of native species, including trees, which are girdled by the vine;
broken by its weight; or killed by lack of light. The kudzu grows at an
astounding rate of 30 centimeters (one foot) per day, and in a single season
can grow up 30 meters (90 feet) in length. 

Control measures include
hand cutting, mowing, controlled burns and herbicide. Grazing animals, such as
goats and pigs have also been effective at containing the spread of the vine
over the long term.

To report a sighting of
the kudzu vine or any other invasive species, call the OFAH/MNR Invading
Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711. Visit www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca to
download a fact sheet on the kudzu vine, or to learn more about other invasive
plants.


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