It comes as no surprise that the field crew’s tasks vary as the season progresses. With summer being well underway, today we offer you a glimpse into a day in the life of a field crew member. Samara Kolasko documents each work week as part of the reporting process for the Community Foundation of Whistler grant – see what it’s like for yourself!
Conquering Giant Hogweed
June 25-28, 2018
This week we treated many different plants including: Scotch Broom, Yellow Flag Iris, Japanese Knotweed, and Giant Hogweed. The sites where we treated the Scotch Broom and Yellow Flag were extremely dense and tough to treat. We had to be very careful not to miss any of the plants. The highlight of my week (if you could call it that) was treating the Giant Hogweed. It was extremely intimidating as one of the plants we had to treat was between 10 and 12ft tall, the trunk was 4 inches in diameter, and the leaves reached out almost as wide as the plant was tall. There were other Hogweed plants present on the site however they were not even close to the same scale, and more importantly they were not flowering.
Since this monster Hogweed was flowering, we had to treat it differently from the others and that is what made this plant so intimidating. Because this plant was flowering and could produce seeds, we had to cut and bag the flower heads. This was quite a challenge due to the height of the plant, and we also wanted to minimize touching it even though we had all the proper protective wear. We were extremely careful and upon completion, we had to wash all our gear including the truck. Because of the safety and precautions we took, this treatment took us the entire day.
All in all, the treatment went as smoothly and safely as it could, but that being said, I really do hope we do not have to treat anymore flowering Giant Hogweed as touching a plant with such disastrous effects, even with the proper protection, is quite unsettling.