Begone vile weed!

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July 7, 2016 12:00 AM

Scentless chamomile was first brought to Leonard Conlon's attention in the mid-80s when the city asked him to keep it off his business's property to stop it from spreading. Conlon had always done as asked, but now its popping up in other areas across the city, sparking concerns about the rapid spread of the agressive, plant-choking weed.

There’s an invader in town that’s choking everything in its path—and it’s trying to spread its roots through Lloydminster.
A vile weed, scentless chamomile, arrived in the 1930s and has been slowly spreading east ever since.
One concerned Border City resident said it was brought to his attention in the 80s when the city found it on his property and told him to take care of it, or the city would do it for him and bill him for the work.
“I did the due diligence, went out there and cleaned it up and always kept my eye on it; now that scentless chamomile is all over Lloydminster,” said Leonard Conlon, manager of C.L.L. Holdings.
“When I started going fishing 20 years ago, you’d see the odd little bit out in a field on the far west side of B.C—now there are fields that are solid white with this noxious weed.”
Conlon said the weed chokes out all vegetation, including grass, and is highly aggressive.
The scentless chamomile looks like a daisy, but has a fern leaf on it like a spruce needle, with each bud having up to 500 seeds.
You can spray it and work it, said Conlon, but it keeps coming back.
“It’s an annual and it’s a perennial, as soon as the flower has seeds it’ll start growing and it’s very hard to get rid of,” he said.
“It just bothers me to see it overcome B.C. like that, now it’s moving east.”
The Source’s gardening columnist, and recent recipient of the Order Of Canada, Mark Cullen said there’s only one way to get rid of the interloping plant.
“Pull it out by hand with gloves on and do that before it flowers and goes to seed,” he said.
Cullen said those with a problem with the weed should get at it now.
“Get to it as soon as you can, because what follows the flowering period is it goes to seed and that’s when you have problems.”
Conlon said the City had been monitoring the weed well in the 80s, but stopped controlling the stuff, and though Husky Oil does a good job of keeping it off its properties, Lloydminster itself has been falling behind.
He said city workers need to start working on it and need to do it now sooner than later.
“If we don’t look after it and control it it’s going to overtake, anywhere it is, it chokes everything out and becomes dominate, then you have a real problem.”
Blake Nielson, superintendent of parks for Lloydminster, wasn’t available for an interview, but provided the following statement: “As mandated by both provinces, the City of Lloydminster takes measures to monitor and control scentless chamomile when problem areas are encountered,” he said.
“The City also encourages residents to report scentless chamomile to the parks department through our report a concern page at www.lloydminster.ca.”

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