Invasive Phragmites
Invasive Phragmites also known as the European Common Reed is an invasive plant that is begining to invade the Great Lakes Region.  It is a large aggressive reed which is invading our wetlands and it is capable of outcompeting native species for nutrients and sunlight.  It also releases toxins into the soil to kill neighboring plants.


Here are some links which describe the plant in more detail and how to identify the plant and what actions to take if you find these on your property.Identifying Phramites (Georgian Bay Forever) Best Management Practices (PDF) Fact Sheet on Phragmites (PDF) Report on Phragmites

Georgian Bay Association Phragmites Factsheet

In addition, EDDMapSOntario: You can report your sighting online on their website.  Another option is to use their app for smart phones.


GBA pdf on cutting phragmites
– GBF advice: Generally, don’t disturb the stolons or rhizomes, cut stalks as low to the ground as possible, stack and burn the cuttings or leave for a year in garbage bags (do not compost). Also, take care not to track rhizome pieces or seeds offsite in your shoe or tire treads.  They are currently preparing a brochure about how to remove phragmites, so check in with them to see when it will be ready.

– Lake Huron Coastal Centre: Lynn Short, a cottager on Wymbolwood Beach (Georgian Bay) has been able to successfully control dense patches of the invasive grass Phragmites along her beach without using chemicals! She has figured out that if you take a spade and cut the stalk just below the sand surface this will significantly stress out the plant.

This method does not disturb the soil and thereby reduces Phragmites competitive edge while promoting native species response.  They start ~mid July when the plant is well established but before seeds set. The plant material is collected and burned (off site). Using this method it was possible to control a dense patch of Phragmites ~ 30m x 15m in a couple of years.