Forestry and Environment

The Township of Puslinch recognizes the importance of the forest conservation, control of noxious weeds and invasive species. Below you will find information on services and programs provided by the County of Wellington and education materials regarding invasive species.

Forestry Conservation

Looking up at a forest from the ground.

The County of Wellington regulates the destruction and injuring of trees through its Conservation and Sustainable Use of Woodlands By-law. For more information please visit their Wellington County’s Forest Conservation page.

Noxious Weeds

The County of Wellington enforces the removal of Noxious Weeds in accordance with Weed Control Act, Statutes of Ontario, 1990, Chapter W.5, Section 3, 13, 16, 18 and 23. For more information please visit Wellington County’s Weed Inspection page.

Invasive Species

Four picture banner. Pictured left to right, Common Reed, Purple Loosetrife, Common Buckthron and Manitoba Maple.
From left Common Reed, Purple Loosestrife, Common Buckthorn and Manitoba Maple.

The invasive species listed below are locally abundant and problematic within the Township of Puslinch.

Scientific NameCommon NameEffect on Natural Area
Acer Negundo*Manitoba mapleinvades all habitat types
Alliaria petiolataGarlic mustarddominates forest herb layer
Elaeagus umbellataAutumn olivedominates forest edges
Lonicera tataricTartarian honeysuckleinvades meadows and forest edges
Lythrun salicariaPurple loosestrifedominates wetlands
Myriophyllum spicatumEurasian watermilfoildominates open water habitats
Phragmites australis*Common reeddominates wetlands and wet meadows
Rhamnus catharticaCommon buckthorndominates forest understorey, meadows and prairies
Rhamnus frangulaGlossy buckthorndominates wetlands
Pinus sylvestrisScots pineinvades meadows
Robinia pseudo-acaciaBlack locustinvades meadows
* hardy native species that can become invasive given certain conditions.



Effects of Invasive Phragmites

Loss of biodiversity and species richness: Invasive Phragmites causes a decrease in biodiversity by creating monoculture stands. Phragmites stands crowd out native vegetation and hinder native wildlife from using the area, resulting in a decrease in both plant and animal biodiversity.

Loss of habitat: Monoculture Phragmites stands result in a decrease in available natural habitat and food supply for various wildlife species, which may include Species at Risk. Invasive Phragmites stalks are rigid and tough, and do not allow for wildlife to easily navigate through or nest in a stand.

Changes in hydrology: Invasive Phragmites displays very high metabolic rates, which can lead to changes in the water cycle of a system. Monoculture stands of invasive Phragmites have the ability to lower water levels, as water is transpired at a faster rate than would be in an area of native vegetation.

Changes in nutrient cycling: Invasive Phragmites stalks are made of very inflexible structural material which breaks down very slowly. This slows the release of nutrients and leaves a high proportion of carbon in the standing dead stalks.

Increased fire hazards: A stand of Invasive Phragmites is composed of a high percentage of dead stalks, with a lower percentage of live growth. Dead stalks are dry and combustible, increasing the risk of fires.

Economics and social impacts: Invasive species such as Phragmites can have many negative effects on economic and social issues. Effects on agriculture and crops can lead to economic losses, while monoculture stand can affect property values and raise aesthetic concerns.

How to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Phragmites

Do not purposely plant it: Invasive Phragmites is available for purchase at garden and horticultural centres, but gardeners should consider only using native plants in their water gardens.

Avoid transportation via equipment: when leaving an area containing Phragmites, be sure to brush off clothing and clean off equipment on-site to avoid the transfer of seeds to new sites.

Do not attempt to compost invasive Phragmites: Seeds and rhizomes can survive and grow in a compost heap, creating a new stand or dispersing to other areas. In order to dispose of invasive phragmite, plants should be dried and disposed of in the garbage or at a landfill.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, lnvasive Phragmites * Best Management Practices, Ontario Ministry of Natural
Resources, Peterborough, Ontario. Version 2011. 17 p

For more information regarding invasive species and management plans visit our Conservation Authorities:

Grand River Conservation Authority – Invasive Species

Conservation Halton – Invasive Species

Hamilton Conservation Authority