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Surrey Man Joins Fight Against Invasive Knotweed Plant

Knotweed will not take over British Columbia if Matthew Strelau has anything to say about it.

The Surrey resident is studying whether the invasive bohemian knotweed plant will build up a resistance to the herbicide used to treat it.

Strelau is doing a month-long research project thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Weed Science Society of America.

Across the province, knotweed is treated with the chemical glyphosate, in the brand of weedkiller Round-Up, Strelau explained.

“You can apply it to so many plants, it breaks down easily in the soil, it’s cheap, it’s effective, but when you have only one herbicide you’re applying to one plant throughout the whole province, and this chance of resistance significantly increases,” said Strelau, who attends Trinity Western University.

The concern about resistance building is prudent, he explained, because of a hybrid that’s produced.

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