Frequently Asked Questions
What chemicals are used?Contractors must already be certified to use chemicals along the water’s edge to be eligible to do this work. However, we are also requiring that they attend a workshop that will ensure they recognize threatened and endangered species along the Emmet County shoreline, in addition to being able to tell native phragmites from the invasive kind. The chemicals are Glyphosate (Roundup) and Imazapyr. Click here for a Chemical Fact Sheet. The bottom line is that the chemical begins to break down and dissipate after only 4 hours. It is safe for humans, pets, birds, honeybees, fish, etc. because the chemicals attack an amino acid that is only found in plants. If we had a biological control, we would use it. But given a choice between use of pretty benign chemicals versus having phragmites colonize the shoreline and devastate the ecosystem, we believe the chemical treatment is the best choice. As soon as a biological control is available, we will use that. Research is being conducted but no options yet.
When will the treatment happen?Contractor training workshops are next Monday and Tuesday; we expect contractors to begin after that. Some may treat before Labor Day, but most likely it will take place throughout the month of September. We ask for contact information on the permission slip so that we can notify you of the treatment dates.
I did not get a letter but I have Phragmites.
Please contact Grenetta Thomassey, Program Director for Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council via e-mail at email@example.com or call (231) 347-1181 and leave her a voice message. She will call and discuss this with you soon. We sent letters to the local addresses first. If they were returned, we sent another to the permanent address. Grenetta will re-send the letter to you, if needed, and that could include an email option, fax, or regular mail. Also, if you are part of an Association, you may already be covered by a permission slip we got from them. Finally, if you were not on our list, it means we did not see Phragmites when we did the shoreline survey. However, we will accept a permission slip from you and double check the address when the contractors begin work. If they do not see Phragmites, or see the native kind, they will not treat. If we missed it during the survey and the invasive Phragmites is present on your property, we will already have your permission and will treat it.
My property was treated for Phragmites this past fall, now what do I do?
1. Treated phragmites should be left alone for at least a month, to allow the application to work. However, it should be cut down and disposed of so that you can see any new growth that might emerge and need subsequent treatment. Also, cutting it down allows the native vegetation to become re-established.
2. Phragmites can be persistent, so it’s possible that next year, you may need to treat again, in order to keep the infestation under control. However, after the treatments we completed this year, any follow up should be very manageable and reasonably priced. So, please examine the treated areas closely next spring. If you see new growth, let us know and we can answer questions about how to proceed on your own.
To help you with both of these items, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council has teamed up with Timberwolf Tree Care, LLC. You can find them on the web at: http://www.timberwolftreecare.com. Timberwolf is a local business certified to work with chemicals at the water’s edge, and expertise in a variety of plant health care and landscape management needs. Please call Timberwolf at 231.526.6738 and make an appointment for an estimate. They can help you with cutting and disposal of treated phragmites this year, as well as with any follow up treatments that may be needed next year. If you have other questions, feel free to contact Grenetta Thomassey at the Watershed Council office at 231.347.1181 ext. 118.