Invasive Species in BC
Invasive plants (also known as exotics, noxious weeds, or alien species) are plants that have come from different parts of the world. They cause ecological destruction and threaten biodiversity because they lack environmental pressures, such as plant pathogens, predators, and insects, that keep them under control. Invasive plants can destroy food sources, animal habitats, and native species.
Top priority invasive species
Some of the top priority invasive species in North Vancouver that have been recognized by the BC government include Giant Hogweed, Bohemian Knotweed, Giant Knotweed, Himalayan Knotweed, and Japanese Knotweed. These species even pose risks to public health, slope stability, and buildings and infrastructure. The District of West Vancouver has also identified 19 invasive plant species, including Blackberry species, Butterfly bush, and Cherry Laurel (just to name a few).
Do your part in preventing the spread
There are many things you can do to prevent the spread of invasive species, a few of which are mentioned here:
Contain or remove invasive species on your property if safe to do so and check safety precautions relevant to the specific species*
Replace any invasive plants on your property with native species and non-invasive alternatives
Do not dispose of garden waste into parks or other natural areas, and bag or tarp plant materials before transporting for appropriate disposal
Be mindful that falling birdseed can be a source of invasive plants, so control weeds that appear under bird feeders
Ensure that any new plants you buy are not invasive and be cautious when buying seeds online or through catalogues
If you are uncertain about any aspect of invasive species control, seek assistance from a qualified individual or company
If you are considering removing invasive species on your property, you may want to check out the District of West Vancouver's "Best Management Practices and Target Plant Profiles" to learn best practices for removing invasive plant species and restoration planting.
* If you find Giant Hogweed on your property, it is not advised that you handle the plant material yourself due to health concerns. Instead, it is best that you find a contractor to remove the plant to ensure it is handled and disposed of safely.