Forestry Bureau holds weed removal activities

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Sep 08, 2013 - Page 3

Nearly 2,000 people participated in activities organized by the Forestry Bureau nationwide yesterday that got rid of 7,500kg of a fast-growing plant species — the mile-a-minute weed.

The mile-a-minute weed is the most commonly seen invasive plant species in the country, the bureau said, adding that it grows very fast and can grow on trees, causing them to slowly die.

Research has shown that the best time to get rid of the plant is before it blossoms and bears fruit, which is about this time of year, the bureau said.

Therefore, it has set the first Saturday of every month as the mile-a-minute weed prevention day by hosting activities on the day to enable the public to learn more about the plant’s impact on the environment.

Participants were taught how to recognize the plant and how to get rid of it to protect the indigenous natural ecology. They also received tree seedlings as small gifts to take home.

The bureau said it began the mile-a-minute weed prevention program in 2001, and the size of area invaded by the plant has decreased from 51,853 hectares to 16,665 hectares this year — a decrease of about 68 percent.

However, because the plant grows very fast prevention measures must continue, it added.