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Thread: Should all non-native plants be removed from the river valley park system?

  1. #1

    Default Should all non-native plants be removed from the river valley park system?

    In the past lots of non-native plants were planted. Is that good? Should they be removed from the river valley park. Should they be allowed anywhere in the city?

    One example might be the expanding area occupied by caragana.


    There’s lots of examples of nice plants that have become invasive species.

    Here’s a recent example:

    Invasive weed 'choking' rural Alberta lake at risk of spreading

    CLARE CLANCY
    Updated: August 27, 2018



    “...
    “If it’s left untreated, there’s a risk it can spread to other lakes in the area, so we take that concern very seriously,” said Matt Dykstra, spokesman for the Ministry of Environment and Parks.

    The plant used to be coveted by gardeners to beautify home ponds, but was mishandled and took root in 20 locations across Alberta, he said.

    It has been identified in Chestermere Lake near Calgary, the Bow River, the South Saskatchewan River and the Sturgeon River, which feeds Isle Lake and eventually flows into the North Saskatchewan River....”

    https://edmontonjournal.com/news/loc...k-of-spreading


    Last edited by KC; 07-09-2018 at 07:08 AM.

  2. #2

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    My parents had a caragana in the front yard. For awhile they thought they liked it. To me it always looked like a weed kind of bush. A weird, ugly, and pointless thing. In the 60's you found them everywhere. There were no purpose to them whatsoever. Non edible, no nice blooms, just butt ugly and a bush that would soon take up a lot more of your yard than thought. The thing would just keep developing new roots, branches and widen out. I think dad eventually napalmed. no really, he set the damn thing on fire.

    How or why did people even want or desire a Caragena? You still find this poor bush all over the west end. I've heard its good carving wood. about the only use for it. Doesn't even burn particularly well..
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  3. #3

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    We had caragana's in yards and acreages throughout where I grew up (southern Sask.). The prevailing thought then and there was because of their density they made great natural separations (fences) between yards. Hell, cats had a hell of a time navigating through them and for the most part you couldn't see through them so good for privacy. On the farms and acreages they made great snow fences and weather breaks. The winds and blizzards would pile up the snow on the one side keeping your yard relatively free of the drifting. Similar reasoning for the top soil erosion and again the privacy. There was some practicality to the plant. Many farmers planted these trees/bushes around the out buildings and dwellings. Yes, they can run amok if left untended but in my experience there was a purpose. Just my 2 cents.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  4. #4

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    ^Yeah, theres a history of these being planted as wind erosion blocks after the dustbowl conditions of the Great depression. The plants have strong root systems. Grow big and wide. They are described as a hedge type plant, can't really see that on a city sized lot as they would take up the whole front yard to be a hedge, lol, but on a farm or acreage make complete sense.

    Just learned something new this AM. Some people consider that the Caragena blooms and young pods are edible albeit the pods have to be cooked. We were always told the seed pods were poison and were told to stay clear of them. Even some sources say the pods are edible, some say they are poison. Not lethal, more like diarrhea, nausea. Even learned that broad beans/fava beans are borderline poisonous to some people. I hated the taste of those things. hate edame to this day. Its strange, generally love legumes but just some legumes. Caragena is a legume.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  5. #5
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    ^

    it can be interesting what's poison and what isn't... and interesting to speculate on how we learned what's poison and what isn't.

    as another example, cashews are considered to be a treat/delicacy just about everywhere they are grown or exported to but eaten raw they are quite poisonous (even those sold as "raw" have been heated enough to destroy the toxins). the "fruit" immediately above them on the tree however, is not poisonous and quite safely consumed raw.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    ^

    it can be interesting what's poison and what isn't... and interesting to speculate on how we learned what's poison and what isn't.

    as another example, cashews are considered to be a treat/delicacy just about everywhere they are grown or exported to but eaten raw they are quite poisonous (even those sold as "raw" have been heated enough to destroy the toxins). the "fruit" immediately above them on the tree however, is not poisonous and quite safely consumed raw.
    Yep. So many things. Basically any part of a tomato plant is quite poisonous. Rhubarb leaves poisonous, Any sun exposed green part of a potato plant including green potatoes can be poisonous. It is interesting how so much of our standard garden variety (excuse pun) plant stock contains toxins.

    Mind you with some of the descriptions the poison label is more or less apt and it would take a lot to seriously harm an individual. For instance Tobacco plants are of course "poisonous".

    Even raw peas of some varieties are described as mildly toxic and if you eat those in large amounts you can get ill. Or my parents just told me that because I would wolf them down while "picking" the peas.

    I wish some of these plants were more of a poison to those pesky aphids, heh. My ladybugs can't keep up munching them.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

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