So long, vile weed: CDN-NDG aims to eliminate ragweed
Cote-des-Neiges-NDG is trying to get rid of ragweed.
Workers and volunteers have been removing ragweed from public and private land with the returning program.
The program, now in its second year, aims to pull out the year’s plant, preventing new seeds from being produced in the fall, according to Charles Mercier of Cote-Des-Neiges Environmental Society.
The borough received money from Quebec’s green fund to remove ragweed.
The program is part of a $200,000 investment over three years.
“We prefer the manual way because it doesn't disturb the vegetation,” Mercier said. “It's slow but when the infestation is localized it's a good technique.”
Workers are pulling these plants out before they bloom, likely in less than two weeks.
Ragweed is often overlooked by many, but for those who are allergic, it can be a real problem.
Montreal public health physician Sidonie Penicaud says ragweed has spread over the years and global warning isn’t helping.
“Because the temperatures are warmer for longer during the summer it allows the plant to live longer to probably release more pollen and also if the winter aren't as cold as it used to be well it doesn't kill off as many plants,” she said. “Once the ragweed season is over the symptoms will stop. However while you're experiencing them they can be extremely unpleasant.”
Part of the battle is dealing with the seeds that are in the soil, which can remain dormant for 40 years.
“We started last year and again this year and next year,” Sue Montgomery CDN-NDG mayor said. “We’ll talk stock and see what kind of impact it had.”
Ragweed will be pulled three times a year and the group will work mainly on public property. Backyards are left up to residents.
Nonetheless, the group still believes the program will make a difference.
“It will have an impact because we're all over the place so it's not the same as like a day of ragweed pull out by a group of citizen,” Mercier said.