The cost of controlling freshwater invasive species has been estimated at £25 million per year for the British economy, of which a significant part is due to Canadian pondweed (Elodea Canadensis) control.
Canadian pondweed grows rapidly in favourable conditions, out competing natives species for nutrients and can quickly choke shallow ponds, canals, and the margins of some slow-flowing rivers, making the waterway un-navigable , fishing impossible and causing the loss of biodiversity. A significant cost to business and the natural environment.
A native of North and South America, this species was introduced to Ireland in 1836, most likely as a fragment on an imported log from Canada, and rapidly spread to Europe soon after, occurring in similar habitats. Today it’s sold as an oxygenating plant for home aquariums and small garden ponds, but careless disposal can add to the problem in the wider natural environment as fragments easily survive and regenerate.
Identifying Canadian Pondweed
To identify Canadian pondweed take a look at our guide here
. Young plants initially start with a seedling stem with roots growing in mud at the bottom of the water; further roots are produced at intervals along the stem, which may hang free in the water or anchor into the bottom. It grows indefinitely at the stem tips, and single specimens may reach lengths of 3 m or more.
The leaves are bright green, translucent, oblong, 6–17 mm long and 1–4 mm broad, borne in whorls of three (rarely two or four) round the stem.
Control of Canadian Pondweed
Control can be achieved by mechanical means, either by cutting or dredging to remove by the roots, with all cut weed being removed from the water to prevent de-oxygenation.
If this is carried out regularly, then peak biomass should not be reached. Continued cutting will weaken the plant and may lead to its disappearance from the body of water.
One of the most effective means of carrying out the cutting or dredging is with an amphibious machine. The Truxor, with its range of cutting, collection and dredging tools enables the efficient removal of Canadian pondweed in any aquatic environment. Lightweight and manoeuvrable, the Truxor can work in the most sensitive of landscapes, causing little or no impact on the surrounding environment.
For an informal conversation to discuss any issues with Canadian pondweed, or any other invasive aquatic plant call us on 01788 810614, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form below.