Spread of weeds from wetland
I live in Waterford and my lawn backs up to a wetlands area. Over the last couple of years, one type of plant has started extending from the wet area into our lawn. The plants could be cattails, they are very tall with thick stalks. How do I stop them spreading into the lawn?
Oakland County Michigan
Hello and thank you for using MSU Extension eXtension for your wetland plant question. I am not certain what your plant is cattails or something else such as phragmites. In either case the management is similar and the size of your wetland matters. You may need a permit to treat. If you are just treating your lawn then no permit is necessary. If you want to treat into the wetland, a permit may be necessary. Check this FAQ sheet for more info on that: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/wrd-anc-faq_565051_7.pdf.
You can try to dig them out or cut them down, or use an herbicide. You need to make sure that the herbicide you use is rated for use in and near water. If you choose to use an herbicide carefully follow the label instructions. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/wrd-anc-approvedherbicides_445623_7.pdf.
Additionally, if aquatic plants are moving into your lawn then that indicates that that section of your lawn is actually wetland because wetland plants don’t necessarily grow into dry areas. Consider mowing less or landscaping to control. Here is a great website with information about landscaping shorelines. Its focus is lakes but the principles apply to any wetland edge. They also have a list of certified shoreline landscape professionals that are also able to assist with your encroachment problem. Go to https://www.mishorelinepartnership.org/.