For Immediate Release

Date: August 20, 2014                                                                     

Location: Town of Qualicum Beach, BC.

Getting to the Root of it: Town of Qualicum Beach Tackles Knotweed

A 2014 program aimed at eradicating invasive knotweed species from the Town of Qualicum Beach was announced today. The Town of Qualicum Beach, in partnership with the Coastal Invasive Species Committee (Coastal ISC), will offer a reporting and treatment system for invasive knotweed species. This pilot program is asking the public to report sightings of knotweed. The program aims to verify all knotweed reports within the Town of Qualicum Beach and to provide professionals to conduct treatment on select sites at no cost to the landowner.

“Knotweed species are extremely expensive and difficult to control once they have spread,” said Teunis Westbroek,Mayor of the Town of Qualicum Beach. “On a positive note for our area, knotweed populations are still small and we still have an opportunity for effective control.”

Considered one of the world’s worst invaders, Knotweed is a hollow stem shrub (which resembles bamboo), that can destroy or degrade fish and wildlife habitat. Knotweed roots can penetrate pavement causing damage to infrastructure such as roads, walls and drainage systems. In the UK, Japanese knotweed has grown rampant, causing severe financial implications, including mortgages refused on properties with knotweed. Coastal ISC is asking the public to work with officials to eliminate the threat of this species before it becomes widely established.

“Knotweed is a bully in the plant world. It’s an invasive and aggressive plant that spreads easily and can impact property values, the environment and cause safety issues on roadways. Visit, or pick-up a booklet from the Town to learn more ways to defend your property from invasion” explains Rachelle McElroy, Executive Director of the Coastal ISC.

A knotweed alert sheet, providing information on identification, proper disposal, and reporting options has been developed and is available on the Town’s website at or here.

Coastal ISC appreciates the cooperation of all residents in addressing knotweed on both private and public land. Local residents can benefit from free treatments by stem injection by reporting Knotweed until the end of August. Treatments will take place in September.

To report infestations email or call 1-250-857-2472. For more information on identification of this plant and its damaging impacts; as well as other invasive species that are being managed in your area please visit:


knotweed sign



Media contacts:

Rachelle McElroy, Executive Director, Coastal Invasive Species Committee.

Email: , Phone: 250-857-2472


Luke Sales, Director of Planning, Town of Qualicum Beach