In the summer of 2019, the Junior Naturalists posed a question regarding the control of Dog Strangling Vine (DSV), an invasive plant that is present in the Humber Arboretum. This group conducts stewardship activities in the Arboretum to help balance the environment by using non-chemical methods to control some of the invasive plant species there. They had been cutting off the flowers of the DSV to prevent seed production, but this did not affect the survival of the plants. This research project was created in response to the group’s question. Four strategies were studied for their efficacy in controlling the growth of DSV. These strategies were digging out the plant, pulling out the stalk, cutting the crown beneath the soil surface, and cutting the stalk above the soil surface. While each approach has its benefits and drawbacks, digging the entire plant out of the ground was found to be the most effective in preventing the regrowth of the individual plant. The research is intended to guide student gardeners working in ornamental gardens at the Arboretum and stewardship volunteers working in public parks in non-chemical strategies to be used for controlling DSV. The most effective control efforts should be repeated from year to year, which can result in long-term control of DSV in cultivated gardens and natural areas.
This study has limitations since it was enacted on natural areas that had already been overtaken by DSV, which means that the numbers of plants, seeds, and other species in each plot were not consistently uniform. In a subsequent investigation, standardized, cultivated plots of DSV could be created and different competitive native species could be added to determine the effects of treatments on these combinations.
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