DEDHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — For a nice-enough plant, Japanese knotweed does some serious damage.
"It comes up through asphalt, it'll go through concrete, it's a real issue with sidewalks, driveways, roadways, " said Dedham Director of Public Works Joe Flanagan.
The town is dealing with a Japanese knotweed infestation, and can't seem to shake it.
The plant was first introduced in North America in the early 1900s, from Asia as an ornamental plant. Since then, it's wreaked havoc on the ecosystem across the Commonwealth, crowding out native plants. It has pretty strings of white flowers, attractive, heart shaped leaves, and its stems look something like bamboo.
Flanagan says knotweed is incredibly tough. Gardeners need to cut it down twice, and then dab herbicide on the leftover roots to fully kill the plant. The effort needed to try and to kill the plant is taking up an inordinate amount of the Public Work Department's time, when they would normally be focused on infrastructure problems like fixing potholes.
"It's very frustrating. Potholes are easy," Flanagan said.
WBZ's Chris Fama (@CFamaWBZ) reports: