Invasive species removals coming to parks and natural areas

We’re working to improve ecological health in our parks and natural areas by removing invasive plant species like buckthorn and dog strangling vine.

Removals take place throughout the year using mechanical and herbicide methods. The work for each site takes three days to complete, weather permitting. During removals, park facilities and most trails will remain open, however, we ask that you avoid marked work areas until signs are removed.

Report invasive species

Dates for specific sites are added as they become available.

Buckthorn removals in 2020-2021

  • Teal Drive South, October 2020
  • Marianne’s Park, October 2020
  • Lawn Bowling Club/Covered bridge, October 2020
  • Herb Markel Park to Mac Avenue natural area, October/November 2020
  • Preservation Park (Hayward to Kirkby), November 2020
  • Heritage Park (Wyndham Street to MacDonnell Street), November 2020-December 2020
  • Kortright Hills Park/Teal Drive North, November 2020-January 2021
  • Hanlon Business Park West, November 2020-January 2021
  • Clair Road West natural area (213 Clair Road), November 2020-February 2021
  • Kortright Hills Park/Teal Drive North natural area, November 2020-January 2021
  • Hilltop Crescent, December 2020-February 2021
  • Hillcrest Road, December 2020-January 2021
  • Stephanie Drive Park, December 2020-February 2021
  • Grange Road Park, January-February 2021
  • Stephanie Drive Park, December 2020-February 2021
  • Burns Drive Park (retreatment), January 2021-March 2021


Why we remove invasive species from parks and natural areas

Dog strangling vine and buckthorn are both invasive species that are not native to Ontario. Invasive species crowd out native species, threaten ecological integrity of parks and natural areas and reduce habitat for wildlife. Removing both invasive species before they establish and spread protects our parks and natural areas.

There are some exemptions available to municipalities under the Pesticide Act that allow us to use pesticides. We assess our needs for pesticides on a case-by-case basis, and only use them for forestry and natural resource management where native ecosystems are threatened. We never use pesticides for cosmetic reasons.

How we’re removing dog strangling vine and buckthorn

We will use machinery and herbicide to remove buckthorn and dog strangling vine from parks and natural areas.

We assess our parks and natural areas regularly and in many cases, mechanical methods alone are not effective. Herbicide is chosen for its overall benefit to the natural area. These benefits include:

  • Less disruption to the surrounding plants and wildlife that machinery would cause
  • A better chance of preventing the plants from resprouting, lessening the chance of disturbing the area with further removals

Garlon™ RTU will be used to control the buckthorn. Arsenal® will be used to control dog strangling vine.

These products are registered for use in Canada and have been tested to ensure minimal risks to human health and the environment. Licensed applicators will apply Garlon™ or Arsenal directly onto stems of buckthorn or dog strangling vine as appropriate. Using a targeted application means we will use less and protect surrounding plants.

For more information on Garlon™ or Arsenal® visit the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s (PMRA) website or download their app, Pesticide Labels, for on the go information.

Stay out of the work area when signs are present

Both Garlon™ and Arsenal® have a low exposure risk to people and animals, however, the treatment zones will be closed to pedestrians during herbicide application. Please avoid entering the treatment area until signs are removed.

For more information

Dave Beaton, Program Manager
Trails and Natural Area Stewardship, Parks and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2761
[email protected]