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I received a phone call from a resident in Belleville regarding an issue with a neighbor who is purposefully planting/transplanting Japanese Knotweed along her property line and along the road in front of his property.  I'm fairly certain it's Japanese Knotweed but I wanted to get a consensus from the community.  Also if anyone can provide suggestions as to what kind of recourse she has to prevent the neighbor from planting a legally prohibited invasive just outside her property that'd be great too.  Thanks!







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Mike: It certainly looks like Japanese knotweed. J. knotweed is a prohibited species in MI. I am waiting to hear back from MDARD about who is the person to contact regarding issues similar to this, but their Customer Service Center is 1-800-292-3939. MDARD is the regulatory agency for prohibited and restricted weeds. 

From MDARD Website: http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1569_16993-11250--,00.html

"Michigan laws regulate the possession and sale of certain plant species which are considered undesirable from agricultural as well as environmental viewpoints.  These unwanted species are listed below according to the applicable laws and regulations."

A. Prohibited Plant Species (Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (Act 451 of 1994, as amended)

Prohibited species identified under this Act cannot be sold or grown in the state. Any of the following plants, fragments, seeds or a hybrid or genetically engineered variant thereof are specifically prohibited.

  • Cabomba caroliniana -  Fanwort  
  • Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii  - Cylindro  
  • Egeria densa  - Brazilian elodea, also known as Anacharis  
  • Fallopia japonica -  Japanese knotweed  
  • Heracleum mantegazzianum -  Giant Hogweed  
  • Hydrilla verticillata -  Hydrilla  
  • Hydrocharis morsus-ranae  - European frogbit  
  • Lagarosiphon major -  African oxygen weed  
  • Myriophyllum aquaticum  - Parrot's Feather  
  • Nitellopsis obtusa  - Starry Stonewort  
  • Nymphoides peltata -  Yellow Floating Heart  
  • Salvinia molesta, auriculata, biloba, or herzogii -  Giant Salvinia  
  • Trapa natans -  Water Chestnut

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From what I've read, the state law isn't often enforced, mostly because of funding shortages. However, local ordinances are much more regularly followed. I did a bit of digging, and I believe that Belleville is in Van Buren Township, correct? If not, this ordinance can just be an example!  The Code of Ordinances for Van Buren Township, Chapter 42, Article II, Sections 42-96 through Section 42-103 cover the noxious weed code, which covers all listed weeds in the state of Michigan as well as lawns. It may be useful to reach out to local government officials as well, since "close to home" offenses are easier to enforce from the local level.

Has anyone worked with local/state officials on this enforcement? I'm not certain what the best approach is, especially when it seems so spotty in places.

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Thanks all for the great information and input!  I'm going to try to call MDARD today (they were closed the other day) and see if I can't get a call in to someone in Van Buren Twp and see what they can (or are willing) to do.

Thanks again!

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